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S. G. and E. L. ELBERT 




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Vol. I. 





Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred 

and sixty-seven, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York. 


This work is intended to be a history of the causes which led to 
the civil war, and of the events connected with it, considered. not 
in a partisan, but in a philosophical and impartial spirit. 

While I was writing a History of the Intellectual Development 
of Europe, my attention was often drawn to facts illustrating how 
much the national life of the American people had been influenced 
by uncontrollable causes, and how strikingly it exemplified the 
great truth that societies advance in a preordained and inevitable 

I determined that, if circumstances should permit, I would de- 
vote myself to the study of the subject, and was confirmed in this 
resolution by the favor which was accorded to my work above 
mentioned, both here and in Europe. Meantime the civil war 
broke out, and added a new incentive to my intention. 

For I saw that both in the Northern and Southern States public 
men were accusing one another with bitterness, each throwing the 
odium of responsibility on his antagonist, as if the war had not 
been connected with past influences and had no past history, but 
was the sudden result of the passions and fanaticism of the hour. 

There seemed to be a forgetfulness of the fact that its origin 
dates before any of those who have been the chief actors in it were 
born. It came upon us in an unavoidable and irresistible way. 

Now when we appreciate how much the actions of men are con- 
trolled by the deeds of their predecessors, and are determined by 
climate and other natural circumstances, our animosities lose much 
of their asperity, and the return of kind feelings is hastened. 

While the tempest of war is raging, such ideas can not secure at- 
tention ; but when peace succeeds, the voice of philosophy is heard 


calming our passions, suggesting new views of the things about 
which we contended, whispering excuses for our antagonist, and 
persuading us that there is nothing we shall ever regret in frater- 
nal forgiveness for the injuries we have received. 

Can there be any thing more acceptable than the promotion of 
such a result ? Attempts of this kind, though they may be imper- 
fect, will, I am sure, for the sake of their object, find a warm wel- 
come in the American heart. 

With such resistless energy and such rapidity does the Repub- 
lic march to imperial power, that social changes take place among 
us in a manner unexampled in the more stationary populations of 
Europe. There, public calamities are long remembered, and an- 
cient estrangements are nourished for centuries. Here, perhaps 
in little more than a single generation, our agony will have been 
forgotten in the busy industry of a hundred millions of people, ani- 
mated by new intentions, developing wealth and power on an un- 
paralleled scale, and looking, as Americans always do look, only to 
the future, not to the past. 

In writing this book I have endeavored to bear continually in 
mind the rules which Cicero prescribes for those who venture on 
historical compositions : " It is the first and fundamental law of 
history that it should neither dare to say any thing that is false, 
nor fear to say any thing that is true, nor give any just suspicion 
either of favor or disaffection ; that, in the relation of things, the 
writer should observe the order of time, and add also the descrip- 
tion of places ; that in all great and memorable transactions he 
should first explain the counsels, then the acts, lastly the events ; 
that in the counsels he should interpose his own judgment on the 
merit of them ; in the acts he should relate not only what was 
done, but how it was done ; in the events he should show what share 
chance, or rashness, or prudence had in them ; that in regard to per- 
sons he should describe not only their particular actions, but the 
lives and characters of all those who bear an eminent part in the 

It will be remarked that I have refrained from burdening my 
pages with many facts of American history, which, though they 


may abound in interest, are not immediately connected with the 
object in view. When I have apparently departed from this rule, 
it has been because I know that this book will have many readers in 
Europe, who are, perhaps, not perfectly familiar with the details of' 
our affairs. I have endeavored to present such incidents in a con- 
densed manner, restricting myself to those points which seemed 
most essential to a clear comprehension of the subject, and have 
placed them in such a position and with such a frugality of words 
as not to be unnecessarily obtrusive on the American who knows 
well his own national annals. 

The remaining two volumes of the work I shall publish as speed- 
ily as I can. The portion now offered to the public may, however, 
be considered as complete in itself, its object being to set forth 
the causes of the war. 

So abundant are the materials at the disposal of the historian of 
this war, that his difficulty consists, not in acquiring more, but in 
condensing and compressing what he has. Owing partly to the 
inquisitive genius of our people, which searches into the details of 
every thing ; partly to our habit of giving publicity to national 
affairs, and partly to the omnipresent espionage of American jour- 
nalism, the secret history of these events has been laid bare in a 
manner that has never occurred in the political convulsions of Eu- 
rope. I desire, however, here to acknowledge the obligations I am 
under to officers both of the army and navy, and also to civilians 
in eminent stations, who have sent me important documents, and 
furnished me with other valuable information. I would ask for a 
continuance of those favors. 

John William Deafer. 


Washington Square, 

New York. 

March, 1SGT. 



The Subject proposed, 17. — Contemporary History, 18, 19. — The three chief Acts 
of American Life, 20. — The Union and the Nation, 21. — Primitive Position of 
Virginia, 22. — Her ascendency in the Union, 23. — The North becomes dissatis- 
fied, 24. — Political Force of Ideas, 25. — Anti-slavery Ideas and Relation of the 
Constitution to Slavery, 26. — Growth of the Slave Interest, 27. — Opposition to it 
in the North, 28. — Secession, 29.— Opinions of Mr. Webster and Mr. Seward, 30. 
— Avoidance of natural Influences, 31, 32. — Necessity of a Study of Nature, 33. — 
Opinion of Mr. Calhoun, 34 ; and of Mr. Lincoln, 35.— Plan of this work, 36, 37, 




American Rivers, 40, 41. — The Mississippi Valley, 42. — The Atlantic Border, 42. — 
Basin of the West, Pacific Region, 43. — Columbia Basin, 44. — Atlantic and Pa- 
cific Regions, 45. — Section across the Continent, 46. — Actual Configuration of 
the Continent, 47. — The Rains of the United States, 48. — Rains of the Atlantic 
Region, 49. — Course of the great Rivers, 50. — The American Winds, 51. — Winds 
of Texas and the Pacific, 52. — Climate of the Mississippi Valley, 53. — Distribu- 
tion of Heat, 54. — Isothermal Lines, 55. — Their present Imperfections, 56. — Heat 
in the Pacific Region, 58. — Aspect of the Eastern States, 59. — Aspect of the 
Southern States, 60. — Importance of the Mississippi, 60. — Columbia River Terri- 
tory, 61. — The Pacific States, 62. — Political Future of the Mississippi Valley, 62. 



The first Region of the Continent, 63. — Successive Epochs of Formation, 64. — 
Length of Time required, 65. — The First Age, 66. — The Second and Third Ages, 
67. — Formation of Coal, 68. — Climate in those Times, 69. — The Fourth Age, 70, 
71.— The Fifth Age, 72, 73.— The Sixth and present Age, 74.— Man in North 
America, 75. — Extinct Indians, 75, 76. — Peru the primary American Centre, 76. 
— Survey of the Continent, 77. — There have been gradual Successions of Climate, 
78. — Those Successions of Climate have modified every living Thing, 79. 




Climate defined, 80. — Possibility of modifying Plants and Animals, 81. — The Pow- 
er of gradual Disturbance, 82 ; and the Response of Organic Forms, 83. — Exter- 
mination and Transformation, 84. — Modifications of Indian Corn, 85. — Modifica- 
tions of the Sugar-cane and Cotton, 86. — Case of the Cereal Grains, and partic- 
ularly of Barley, 87. — Each Zone of Life has two Sides, 88. — All European Plants 
are modified, 88. 



Man changes with his Place of Residence, 89. — Effect on American Indians, 90. — 
The Inca Indians, 91. — Influence of Race as an historical Element, 92. — Janu- 
ary Isothermal of 41°, Type differences in America East and West, North and 
South, 93. — Grouping of the States, disturbing Effect of Locomotion, 94. — The 
same Type tends to Think and Act alike, 95. — Report of the Sanitary Commis- 
sion, 96. — Death Rate in the North and South, 97. — Acclimatization in England, 
France, etc., 98,99. — Contrast of Character in the North and South, 100, 101. — 
Geographical Law of Human Character, 102. — Modifications of Men in Western 
America, 103. 



Control by Man over Climate. — Indian and European compared, 104. — Fictitious 
Climates best created in the North, 105. — Effect of Varieties of Food, 106. — Ef- 
fect of Clothing and Shelter, 107. — Production of Sameness in Nations, 108. — 
Cause of Desire for Political Unity, 108. — Incompleteness of artificial Compen- 
sations, 109. — Acclimatization of the two Sexes, 109. 



Every Climate has its Type of Humanity, 110. — Political Foreknowledge — local 
Resemblances in the New and Old World, 111. — The Southern State Zone, July 
Isothermal of 77° and 84°, 113.— It is the Climate of North Africa, 114.— Re- 
sources of Carthage, 115. — Character of the People of this Zone, 116. — Behavior 
to Prisoners of War, 116. — Its Intellectual Capacity, 117. — The North-African 
Slave System, 118. — Negro Slavery in Morocco, 119. — Impolicy of Blood Con- 
tamination, 120. — Summary of this Zone, 120. — Absence of Indigenous Negroes 
in America, Track of the Warmth Equator, 121. — Negro Characteristics, 122. — 
Recession of the Mediterranean, 122. — Track of the Warmth Equator in Ameri- 
ca, 123. — Metamorphosis of the Negro, 123. — Limit of Negro Life, 123. — Pecul- 
iarities of the Winter Line of 41° ; Cause of the non-existence of great Men in 
the Southern Hemisphere, 124. — Effect of Rainless Countries, 125. 







The Colonial Period, 126. — The Nations that colonized America, 127. — Spanish 
Colonization, 128. — Discovery of Florida, 129. — Spanish Exploring Expeditions, 
130. — Cruelties to Indians, 130. — Commencement of the Slave-trade, 131. — Dis- 
turbance in the Values of Gold and Silver, 132. — Distribution of the Indian Pop- 
ulation, 133. — Spanish Organization of Indian Labor, 134, 135. — French Coloni- 
zation of America, 136. — Discovery of the Mississippi, 137. — Its Course ascer- 
tained, 138* — French Exploring Expeditions, 139. — Characteristics of Indian Pol- 
ity, 140. — Centralization in Mexico, 141. — Indian Life and Individualism, 142. 
— Indian Civilization, 143. — Result of the French Operations in America, 144.— 
The Anglo-French Wars, 145. 



Principles of English Colonization, 146. — The London and Plymouth Companies, 
147. — Colonization of North Carolina, 147. — Settlement of Virginia, 148. — In- 
troduction of Negro Slaves, 148. — The Tobacco Trade, 149. — Settlement of Mary- 
land, 149. — Settlement of South Carolina, 150. — Effect of former English Civil 
Wars, 151. — Northern Colonization inspired by Ideas, 152. — Influence of the 
Reformation, 152. — Puritan Colonization, 153. — The Puritans and the Church, 
154. — The Pilgrim Fathers, 155. — Colonization of Rhode Island, Roger Wil- 
liams, 156. — Isothermal Zone of Puritanism, 157; corresponds to the Teutonic 
Zone in Europe, 157. — Extent of that Zone in Asia, 158. 



Influence of France on the Colonies, 159. — Franklin's Statements on the Encroach- 
ments of the French, 159 ; his Propositions for the Establishment of new Colo- 
nies, 160. — Desire in England to restore Canada to the French, 161. — Early At- 
tempts to Form an American Union, 162. — The Albany Plan, 163, 164. — Life 
of Franklin, 165 to 168. — Services of the Royal Society, 169. — Advantages of the 
useful Sciences, 170. 



Emigration to the line of the Mississippi, 171. — Effect of Race Intermixture, An- 
cestral Influence, 172. — Swedes, Spaniards, French, Dutch, 173. — Immigration to 
the Northern States, 174. — Machiavelli's Social Divisions, 175. — Relative Influ- 
ence of his three Grades, 176. — Effect of Emigration on the Atlantic States, 177. 
— Rate of Western Diffusion, 178. — Rural Economy of the North, 179. — The 
Northwest Territory, 180. — Ordinance of 1787, 181. — Impression made by Irish 
Immigrants, 182; and by the German, 183. — Slavery in New England, 184. — 
Slavery among the Puritans, 185 to 188. — Anti-slavery Clause in the Declara- 
tion of Independence, 189. 




Introduction of Negro Slaves, 190. — Negro-land, 191, 192. — Habits of the Negro, 
193, 191. — African Civilization, 195. — Character of the American Negro, 196, 
197. — Progress of the Southern Population to the West, 198. — Centres of Popu- 
lation and "Wealth, 198. — Original Equality of the North and South ; eventual 
Preponderance of the former, 199. — Rural Economy of the South, 200. — Question 
of the Navigation of the Mississippi, 201. — Adams's Account of that Dispute, 202. 
— Washington's Views respecting it, 203. — Jefferson's Views, 204. — The Navi- 
gation acquired, 205. — Race-purity in the South, 206. — Distinctions between the 
North and South, 207. — Individualism, 208. — Plantation Life, 209. — Relative 
Morality, 209. — Divergence of the North and South, 210. 



T mportance of English History to Americans, 211. — Two Periods in English Na- 
tional Life, 212. — Society in the Middle Ages, 213. — Condition of the Peasantry, 
214. — Gradual Amelioration, 215. — That change is indicated by Architecture, 
216, 217. — Individualism among the Normans, 218. — They seek to perpetuate 
Personal History, 219. — Individual Romantic Stories, 220. — Physical Condition 
in the Middle Ages, 221. — Personal Adventure among the Normans, 222. — Origin 
of the English, 223. — Their Struggle against Ecclesiasticism, 224. — They acquire 
Religious Independence, 224, 225. — Ameliorated Political Condition, 227. — Dis- 
covery of America, 228. — Development of Commerce, 229. — Henry VII. pro- 
motes Individualism, 230. — His Trade Laws, 231, 232. — Changes since his Reign, 
233, 234.— Maritime Activity, 235. —Expeditions for Colonization, 236.— The In- 
sular and Continental English, 237, 238, 239. — Effects of Individualism, 240. — 
Its Expansive Power, 241. 






Tendency to Sectional Partition, 242. — Communication of Intelligence, 243. — 
Newspapers, Libraries, Colleges, Schools, 244. — Education in the North and 
South, 245. — The Church in Virginia, 246. — Favorite Pursuits North and South, 
247.— Colleges of the Middle Colonies, 248.— Imitation of Europe, 249.— Do- 
mestic Habits, Philosophical Societies, 250". — The Voluntary Church, 251. — 
Study of Theology in the North, and of Law in the South, 252. 




Tendency against Centralization in the South, 253. — Influence of the Southern 
Rivers, 254. — Influence of Negro Slavery, 255. — Unionism in the North, 256. — 
The First and Second Congresses, 257. — Franklin's Plan of Confederation, 258, 
259.— The Confederation, 260.— Opposition of Maryland, 261, 262, 263.— Pro- 
posals of South Carolina, 264. — Misgivings respecting Centralization, 265. 



Failure of the Confederation, 266. — Washington's Views respecting it, 267 to 270. — 
Hamilton's Views respecting it, 271 to 276. — Proposed revision of the Confedera- 
tion, 277. — Patrick Henry on the proposed Constitution, 278, 279. — Mr. Webster 
on the Nature of the Constitution, 280. — Adoption of the Constitution, 281. — Life 
of Washington, 282, 283, 284.— Surrender of State Sovereignty, 285.— The In- 
evitable Progress of Centralization, 286. — Illustrated by Plants, 287. — Illustrated 
by Animals, 288. — Centralization in Man, 289 ; in Nature, 290 ; in Society, 291. 



Influence of the Slave Power, 292. — Statistics of Slavery, 293. — Cultivation of Cot- 
ton, 294. — Cotton Statistics, 295. — More Slaves required, 296. — Profits of Slave- 
grown Cotton, 297. — English Cotton Inventions, 298. — The Cotton-gin, 299. — 
Invigoration of Slavery, 300. — Political Effect of the Steam-boat, 301 ; the Lo- 
comotive Engine, 302. — The South discourages Machinery, 303. — Political Ad- 
vantages of Slaves, 304. — Results of Machinery elsewhere, 305. — Rapid Devel- 
opment of Slavery, 306. — The Demand for more Slaves and more Land, 307. — 
Preponderance of Southern Influences in the Nation, 308. — Policy of the Slave 
Power, 309.— Its Tyranny, 310. 





Expectation that Slavery would come to an End, 311. — Slavery at the Revolution, 
312. — Attitude of South Carolina and Georgia, 313. — Anti-slavery Operations in 
Massachusetts, 314. — Early Abolition Movements, 315. — Slavery in Massachu- 
setts, 316, 317. — Abolition in Massachusetts, 318, 319. — The Massachusetts Slave- 
trade, 320. — Its Prohibition, 321. — The Puritans and Slavery, 322. — Abolition 
in England, 323. — Abolition of English Colonial Slavery, 324. — Slavery in the 
United States, 325. — Distribution of American Slaves, 326. — Abolition of the 
African Slave-trade, 327. — Slavery in ceded Territories, 328. — Anti-slavery So- 
cieties, 329. — Nullification of the Fugitive Slave Law, 330. — Colonization, 331. — 
Life of Lundy, the Abolitionist, 332, 333. — Abolitionists in the North, 334. — 


Mission of Mr. Hoar to Charleston, 335. — Anti-slavery Petitions in Congress; 
Dred Scott Decision, 336. — Helper's Impending Crisis; John Brown, 337. — 
Disintegration of the Democracy, 338. 



Difference of Views in the North and South, 339. — Mode of the Propagation of 
Ideas, 340. — Application in the Case of American Slavery, 341. — The Norman 
Conquest of England, 342. — Conciliatory Policy of the Conqueror, 343. — He 
changes his Policy and emancipates the Slaves, 344. — Consequences of the Con- 
quest, 345. — Influences of the Monasteries, 346, 347. — Character of Progress in 
the Free American States, 348. 






Phases of the Contest between the Free and Slave States, 349. — The Missouri Re- 
striction, 350. — The Missouri Compromise, 351. — Interpretation of the Missouri 
Question, 352. — It was not a Moral, but a Political Struggle, 353. — Jefferson's 
Views of it, 354. — Decline of Federalism, 355. — The Federalists and the Repub- 
licans, 356. — Jefferson's Policy, 357. — The Purchase of Louisiana, 358. — The 
Slave States and State-rights, 359. 



The Tariff of 1816, 360.— The Tariff originally a Southern Measure, 361.— Views 
of Clay and Calhoun, 362. — History of Tariff Movements, 363.— Benton's ex- 
position of the Tariff, 364, 365.— Mr. McDuffie's Speech, 366, 367.— Mr. Web- 
ster's Defense of New England respecting the Tariffs, 368, 369. 




Mr. Calhoun's Position, 370.— Nullification in South Carolina, 371.— The two Ad- 
dresses of South Carolina, 372. — President Jackson's Proclamation, 373, 374, 
375.— Mr. Clay's Compromise, 376.— Its Secret History, 377, 378.— Abandon- 
ment of Nullification, 379.— Life of Mr. Calhoun, 380 to 384. 



General Jackson's Letter respecting Texas, 385.— Texas settled by Austin, 386.— 
Its revolt and Independence, 387.— It seeks Annexation to the United States, 

CONTENTS. x iii 

388, 389. — Opposition to Annexation by Adams and others, 390. — Annexation 
disapproved of by Mr. Van Buren and Mr. Clay, 391, 392. — Mr. Calhoun's French 
Dispatch ; Texas Annexed, 393, 394. 



Declaration of War by the United States, 395. — Invasion of Mexico, 396. — Scott's 
Campaign, 397, 398.— Fall of Mexico, 399.— Treaty of Peace, 399.— The Wilmot 
Proviso, 400. — California, 401. — Settlement of California, 402, 403. — Decline in 
the Value of Gold, 404. — Compromise of 1850, 405. — The Fugitive Slave Law, 
406.— Dred Scott Case, 407.— The Supreme Court, 408. 



The Country of Kansas; Nebraska, 409. — Its Flora, Fauna, and Scenery, 410. — It 
is unsuited to Slavery, 411. — influence of Nature on Human Disposition, 412. — 
Organization of Nebraska, 413. — The Conflict in Kansas, 414, 415. — The Topeka 
and Lecompton Constitutions, 416. — The Emigrant Aid Societies victorious, 
416. — Effect of the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise, 417. 



The Population Supplies North and South, 418. — The Mistake of the South as to 
Slavery, 419. — Assaults of the North on the Conscience of the South, 420. — Un- 
cle Tom's Cabin, 420. — Retaliation of the South, 421. — Abstract of the Mont- 
gomery Report on the Renewal of the African Slave-trade, 423 to 432. — Debate 
on the Montgomery Report, 433. — Resistance of the Slave-selling States, 434. — 
Probable result of a Southern Confederacy, 435. — The Border States would be 
Northernized, 436 ; and the Cotton States Impoverished, 437. 




The South imputes her Decline to Northern Policy, 438. — Conduct of the North as 
to Territory, 439. — Sacrifices made by the South, 440. — The ungrateful Return 
of the North, 441. — The Missouri Question and its Compromise, 442. — Motives 
for Texas Annexation, 443. — The North grasps all the Advantages of the Mexi- 
can War, 444. — It secures Oregon and California, 445. — It is impossible for the 
South to resist Northern Immigration, 446. — Power of the Paupers of the North, 
447. — Social Demoralization of the North, 448. — The National Prosperity illu- 
sory, 449. — Conduct of the North as to Burdens, 450. — The Tariff Question, 450. 
— Mr. Calhoun's Protest against the Force Bill, 451. — Conduct of the North on the 
Importation of Slaves, and the California Mines, 452. — The Fugitive Slave Law, 
and Raid of John Brown, 453. — The South flooded with Incendiary Publications, 
454. — Senatorial Representation of New England, 455, 456. * 

x [ v CONTENTS. 



South Carolina requests a Conference with Virginia, 457. — Radical Difference be- 
tween the North and South, 458. — Effects of Individualism, 459. — Corruption 
of the Northern Democracy, 460. — The North on the Brink of Perdition, 461. — 
Agrarian Demoralization, 462. — Licentiousness of the Rich, 463. — The rule of 
Foreign Vagrants, 464. — The Constitution has become Worthless, 465. — Alarm- 
ing Progress of Abolitionism, 466. — The North is delivered up to Individualism, 
467 ; and must come to a Military Despotism, 468. — Necessity for Secession, 
469. — Power and Character of the new Confederacy, 470. — There will be no Re- 
sistance to Secession, 471. — The Mercantile Classes will favor Secession, 472; 
and so likewise will England and France, 473. — Adoption of the Views of South 
Carolina by Virginia, 474. 



The South is occupied with the single Idea of Slavery, 475. — She fears that State- 
rights will be Ruined, 476. — Vice-President Stephens exposes the unjustifiable- 
ness and Perils of Secession, 477. — The Government has invaded no Southern 
Rights : it conceded the Slave and Fugitive Slave Law, 478. — The South has had 
a preponderance of Places and Profits, 479. — The North has been Taxed for its 
Benefit, 480. — The American Government the best and most just ever institu- 
ted ; the Wickedness of assaulting it, 481. — Fulfillment of Mr. Stephens's Proph- 
ecy, 481. 



True Statement as to the Territories, 482. — Explanation of the three-fifths Slave 
Computation, 483. — Dishonorable Conduct of the South in that Matter ; the 
South creates Tariffs for her own ends, 484. — It is she, and not the North, that 
has changed on the Slave Question, 485. — Her rapid Decline in Wealth and 
Power, 486. — Her Helplessness and Dependence on the North, 487. — Her own 
Confessions of her deplorable Condition, 488. — Her Curse is her Slaveholding 
Demagogues, 489. — The Slave System is an Imposture, 490. — The true Value of 
Immigration to the North, 491. — No Terrorism in Northern Society, no Espion- 
age ; a better domestic Life than in the South, 492. 



The Political Power of the North, 493 — Illogical Position of the Democratic Party, 
494. — Impolicy of the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise ; Squatter Sovereign- 
ty, 495. — Jefferson Davis's Resolutions, 496. — The Charleston Convention, 497. 
— The Policy it adopts ; Withdrawal of the Alabama Delegation, 498. — Disrup- 
tion of the Democratic Party, 498. — Plea for the Reopening of the African Slave- 
trade, 499. — It is necessary for the South : it gives Africa the blessings of Chris- 
tianity, 500. — Its tendency is to sustain the Union, 501. — The Baltimore Con- 
vention, 502. — Nominations for the Presidency, 503. — Platform of the Republican 
Party, 504.— The Elections of I860, 505.— Mr. Lincoln elected President of the 
United States ; his Biography, 506, 507. 




The Population and Influence of South Carolina, 508. — Relative Position of Mas- 
sachusetts, Virginia, South Carolina, 509. — The Governor of South Carolina rec- 
ommends the calling of a Convention, 510. — Action of the Legislature, 511. — 
Co-operationists and Disunionists, 512. — General Scott's Views ; Establishment 
of Terrorism, 513. — The Ordinance of Secession passed, 514. — Enthusiastic De- 
light of the Carolinians, 515. — Organization of the State as a Sovereign Power, 
516. — Astonishment in the North and Disapproval in the West, 517. — The meet- 
ing of Congress, 518. — President Buchanan's Message, 519. — Its unsatisfactory 
Character, 520. — Speech of Mr. Hale, 521. — Concessions proposed, 522. — Mr. 
Crittenden's Compromise, 523. — Withdrawal of Senators and Representatives 
from Congress ; Address of Mr. Davis, 524. — Old John Brown, 525, 526, 527. 



Meeting of the Confederate Convention; Election of Mr. Davis and Mr. Stephens, 
528. — Formation of the Cabinet ; Adoption of the Constitution, 529. — Views of 
the Confederate President, 530. — The Confederate Constitution, 531. — Mr. Davis's 
Inaugural Address, 532, 533. — Mr. Stephens's Exposition of the Constitution ; it 
is founded On the Inequality of Men, 534. — Its Corner-stone is Human Slavery, 
535. — Strength of the Confederacy; its Flag, 536. — Repudiation of Northern 
Debts; Dilemma of the Southern People, 537. — Comparative Power of the North 
and South, 538, 539. 



The North regards Secession as an Electioneering Device ; the South that it can 
be accomplished peaceably, 540. — The Secessionists demand the Benefits of the 
Constitution, 541. — Major Anderson moves from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, 
542. — Exasperation in Charleston; Resignation of Mr. Floyd, the Secretary of 
War, 543. — The Transfer of Arms from the Northern to the Southern Arsenals, 
544. — General Twiggs dismissed from the Army for Treachery, 544. — Letter of 
the South Carolina Commissioners to the President, 545, 546. — Reply of Presi- 
dent Buchanan, 547, 548. — Rejoinder of the Commissioners, 549. — They accuse 
him of Vacillation, Deception, Breach of Promise, 550. — He has been spared by 
South Carolina generosity, 551. — They close all farther Negotiations with him, 
552. — Prejudicial Effect of these Letters on South Carolina, 553. — Apology for 
Mr. Buchanan's Conduct, 554. — He is appalled at the difficulties around him, 
555,556. — European Opinions on these Transactions, 557. — Changes in the Cab- 
inet ; Stanton, 558. — Seizure of National Property by the Seceding States, 558. 
— Attempt at the Relief of Fort Sumter; the Star of the West fired at, 559. — 
Arming of the South, 560. — Treachery in the Navy; Dix's Dispatch, 561. — 
Abortive Peace Proceedings, 562. — Southern Journalism ; Firing of the South- 
ern Heart, 563. — Enthusiasm of Charleston at the Opening of the War; Con- 
dition at its Close, 564. — Desolated Condition of the Seceding States, 565. — Ret- 
ribution on the North and South, 5G6. — The Lesson to be learned from the War, 



The Subject proposed. — Its Difficulties. 

In the course of American National Life three distinct Periods may be perceived.. 
The first was characterized by an earnest acceptance of the Idea of Political 
Unity ; the second manifested itself by the Decomposition of the Nation that 
had arisen from that Idea into two geographical and opposing Political Powers 
— the North and the South, or the Free and the Slave ; the third exhibits the 
Conflict of those Powers for Supremacy. 

Since the production of Geographical Parties is due to Climate, the possibility of 
avoiding such Influences is considered, and the necessity of their Study by the 
Statesman insisted on. 

Statement of the Topics treated of in the six Sections of this Volume. 

I purpose in these volumes to treat of the Origin and 
The subject pro- History of the Civil War which has so lately 
distracted and desolated the American na- 
tion ; to seek out the causes that occasioned it, and consid- 
er in what manner they acted ; to show how division and 
antagonism have arisen among a people once thought to be 
homogeneous ; and to present a narrative of enthusiastic 
exertion and defeat on one side, of invincible perseverance 
and victory on the other. I shall have to describe military 
operations eclipsing in magnitude and splen- 

The civil war. r a -i -n l • i • 

dor those ot the r rencn empire ; a revolution 
in the art of war through the introduction of the steam- 
engine, the locomotive, the electric telegraph, rifled ord- 
nance, iron-clad ships, and other inventions of this scien- 
tific age, sustained by the development and use of finan- 
cial resources on a scale that has no parallel in the his- 
tory of the world. I shall have to relate how from the 
I— B 


midst of a free people armies emerged, which, in spite of 
appalling disasters and losses, were maintained for years 
at a million of men ; how sanitary commissions and pri- 
vate benevolence supported and, indeed, excelled the 
providence of the government, depriving the battle-field 
and hospital of half their terrors. Inadequately as I may 
relate the story, no imperfection of mine can ever conceal 
the great result, recognized with transport by true men 
all over the world, that a republic, resting on free insti- 
tutions and universal education, can maintain itself un- 
dismayed in the shock of war, and calm in the hour of 
triumph. Not without the conscious pride of patriotism 
I shall have to tell, that the conquering soldiers of Get- 
tysburg and Bichmond, recalling the example of their an- 
cestors the conquerors of Yorktown, went back when 
their work was done to the farm, the workshop, or to 
trade ; that an assaulted but victorious government dis- 
dained the cruel retributions of the scaffold, and acted 
with security on the principle that the causes of political 
crimes must be remedied, but the crimes themselves not 
avenged. The narrative of this great civil war abounds 
in lessons that will be of use to the descendants of those 
who participated in its sufferings and glory. 

Of us it may be said, as Pericles said of his Athenian 
countrymen, that we are the only people of our times who 
have been found to be greater by experience than by re- 
its effect upon port. If we have suddenly become a por- 
the nation. ^.^ j n ^ e e y eg f f ore jg n nations, and have 

risen to a height of glory and of power, let us not forget 
that it is through those who have fallen on our battle- 
fields — those who have made this continent a sepulchre 
of illustrious men. 

Perhaps, however, it may be thought that the time has 
The possibility of not yet come to deal with these events im- 

considering it im- . . ,, , -i , , ,1 • 

partially. partially — that we are too near their occur- 


rence. In this respect the truth of history depends on 
two conditions, fullness of information as to the facts, and 
freedom from bias as to persons. But there never was a 
war in the course of which publicity was so freely per- 
mitted, and the interior causes of movements so complete- 
ly understood. As to bias, it is a mistake to suppose 
that time is any remedy for it. The life of Caesar might 
have been written in the reign of Augustus not less im- 
partially than nineteen centuries subsequently. 

Even if the historian of contemporary events does la- 
The advantages ^or under these disadvantages to the extent 
ofwntempOTSf 8 commonly supposed, he is not altogether 
without compensating benefits. The appre- 
ciation of an eye-witness must necessarily be more vivid 
than that of a remote inquirer. The motives of men ar§ 
better interpreted by those who have known them per- 
sonally than by those who must trust to tradition. It is 
for these reasons that there is so much significance in the 
remark of Niebuhr, that of all the great acts of Grecian 
antiquity the Peloponnesian War was the most immortal, 
because it was described by Thucydides, who served in 
it, and kept a journal of its events. 

Such reflections have led me to suppose that, if it be 
not intrinsically impossible to relate with truth and im- 
partiality the momentous events that have taken place 
in the nation and age in which I live, I might devote my 
declining years to this work of useful labor. Apprecia- 
ting the difficulty of the task, in view of the mass of ma- 
terial to be considered, the interests that have been dis- 
turbed, the passions that have been excited, the hopes 
that remain unsatisfied, I submit these pages to the gen- 
erosity of the reader rather than to his critical judgment. 

There are three acts in the drama of American na- 
tional life. 


1st. The development of a sentiment of Unionism, 

Thethreechiefacts which in time gathered strength sufficient to 
of American nfe. convert a train of feeble colonies scattered 
along the Atlantic coast into a great and powerful nation. 

2d. The separation or differentiation of that nation, 
chiefly through the agency of climate, into two sections, 
conveniently known as the North and the South, or the 
free and the slave powers. 

3d. The conflict of those powers for supremacy. 

The outline of these acts is as follows : 

From a nearly homogeneous English stock, the Atlan- 
tic coast of North America received two immigrations. 
That which settled in the South was of per- 

Character of the % n ■ i • i • i i • i i 

first American im- sons devoted to material o meets, and appre- 

migrants. . *: ' . A ± 

ciatmg ease and pleasure, I hat which found 
a home in the North was more austere : its moving influ- 
ence was moral and religious ideas. 

In one sense these two colonial bodies were not dis- 
similar, since they had come from a common ancestral 
home. In another they showed diversity, for they were 
of different social grades that had been sorted and parted 
from each other by antecedent English civil wars. 

These immigrating bodies were affected by the climate 
to which they had come. It happened — or perhaps it 
was the result of prior and purposed selection — that there 
was a congeniality in each case between the temperament 
of the colonist and the place of his abode. The man of 
enjoyment found an acceptable home in the winterless 
fertile South ; the man of reflection amid the austerities 
of the North. 

Climate thus augmented and perpetuated the initial 
differences of character. It converted what had been 
merely different classes in England into distinct national 
types in America. 

For a long time the colonists experienced similar ex- 


terior pressures. At first they had to maintain them- 
selves against the Indians ; then they had a common en- 
emy in the French ; still later, both felt the tyranny of the 
mother country. A sentiment that it would be well for 
such feeble communities as they were to unite for mutual 
protection gradually gained strength. It appeared first 
more than two hundred years ago (1643), among the New 
England colonies. 

The establishment of the Union" was the final embodi- 
ment of that sentiment. 

Unionism implied a single nation. 
unionism and na- Though there was thus an initial race-dif- 

tionality. ° 

ference between the North and the South, 
since they were respectively offshoots from different 
grades of English society, we must not give too much im- 
portance to that difference. In the scientific treatment 
of American history it can not be overlooked, but the 
antagonism arising from it was very feeble ; so feeble, in- 
deed, as scarcely to retard the progress of Unionism. 
The differentiation or separation of the American peo- 
The effect of cii- pl e > though it had its beginning in English 
mate upon them. -^ an( j \ n pre-colonial times, may, without 

much error, be considered as having been' substantially 
produced by the climate of this continent. The Teutonic 
characteristics of the Northern people were rendered 
more intense ; the Southern people assumed those quali- 
ties which pertain to the nations of the southern border 
of the Mediterranean Sea. 

A self-conscious democracy, animated by ideas of in- 
_. .. . dividualism, was the climate issue in the 

But there was si- > 

?e U nS n to U dive a rSty North ; an aristocracy, produced by sehti- 
Sa^lmocraJyand ments of perspnal independence and based 

an aristocracy. -% t . -■ n . , . 

upon human slavery, was the climate issue m 
the South — an aristocracy sub-tropical in its attributes, 
the counterpart to that \rhich is found in the latitudes 


extending from the Pillars of Hercules to the banks of 
the Indus, imperious to its friends, ferocious to its ene- 
mies, and rapidly losing the capacity of vividly c6mpre- 
hending European political ideas. 

Let us now observe each of these components of the 
Union as a power. 

In a hot climate men work no more than necessity com- 
Effectofahotcii- pels; they instinctively look with favor on 

mate on man. gkve j^^ rp^ ha( j alwayg been that 

disposition in the Southern states. Accidental circum- 
stances gave it strength. 

At • the time of the Declaration of Independence, Vir- 
ginia was the most powerful of the colonies ; she occu- 
pied a central position, and had in Norfolk one of the 
best harbors on the Atlantic. She had a vast western 
territory, an imposing commerce, and in the production 
and export of tobacco not only a source of wealth, but, 
from the mercantile connections it gave her in Europe, a 
• means <rf refinement. It was through this 

Political position . . . -, . n -. 

of virdnia among circumstance that so many 01 her young men 

the colonies. .. ,r _ J ° 

were educated abroad. When the epoch oi 
separation from the mother country had come, and the 
question of confederation arose, she might have asserted 
her colonial supremacy ; she might have been the central 
power. Many of her ablest men subsequently thought 
that, in her voluntary equalization with the feeblest col- 
onies, the spontaneous surrender of her vast domain, the 
self-abnegation with which she laid all her privileges on 
the #ltar of the Union, she had made a fatal mistake. 
In her action there was something very noble. 

Tobacco, which was the source of the wealth of Vir- 
ginia, was altogether produced by slaves. 

The progress of the physical sciences in Europe, and 
many admirable inventions of industrial art, created in 
the course of time a demand for another product, cotton, 


which experience proved could be more advantageously 
produced in the Southern states than any where else, but 
produced in them only by slaves. 

Hence, very soon, the whole economy of the South cen- 
tred on slavery. That system gave to the 

Growth of the } -i ,-1 1 i j_ n i • 

slave interest in master wealth, and, what was 01 equal lm- 

the South. 7 , -i • -i -i • 

portance, it gave to him personal leisure. 
His thoughts naturally reverted to the management of 
public affairs ; his material prosperity and ease of circum- 
stances led him to the pursuit of political power. In a 
few years the South had possession of all the depart- 
ments of the Union government. It dominated in the 

In maintaining this supremacy, doubtless the intrinsic 

political power of Virginia, and the moral 

P*o1l tl(*£ll flSOPTlflPll- ^~"^ 

cy of Virginia in force arising from the acknowledged sacri- 

the Union. i i i • • 

fices she had made, contributed in no small 
degree. The first President of the United States was a 
Virginian, and he was re-elected. The second was from 
the North, perhaps a fraternal concession due to revolu- 
tionary recollections; but he was not re-elected. The 
third President was a Virginian, and he was re-elected. 
The fourth was a Virginian, and he was re-elected. The 
fifth was a Virginian, and he was re-elected. No small 
proportion of the profits of place and power poured into 
the South. Was there ever to be an end of this ? 

It will be seen on subsequent pages that, from the first 
Alarm of the smaii attempt at confederation, the smaller states 
the^octri^eofstatl were in mortal terror of being overwhelmed 
by the greater. Maryland, Rhode Island, 
Delaware were full of apprehension as to what Virginia 
might do. Their protection consisted in asserting and 
upholding their rights as original and equal elements in 
the association — sovereigns, as they designated them- 
selves. It was plain from the beginning that this doc- 


trine of state-rights would always be upheld by the 
smaller states against the greater, by the weaker against 
the stronger, by the stationary against the progressive, and 
therefore, eventually, by the South against the North. 

Now from the South let us turn to the Northland ob- 
serve what was transpiring there. 

In a cold climate man maintains an individual combat 
Effect of a coid cii- with nature and with competing men ; he is 
every moment forced to make good his own 
ground. Hence he becomes self-reliant, and is perpetu- 
ally occupied in carrying out his own intentions. With 
his own hand he makes his own fortune. The self- work- 
ing North feels itself in irrevocable antagonism with vi- 
carious labor ; it detests negro slavery. 

The idealistic North — the materialistic South — there 
The North becomes the y stand in presence of one another. The 
Se V dexc d iusfo C n on " former asks herself what is it that has given 

from power. -i • ■ . i • , i 

her companion paramount control m their 
common association — their Union. She sees that it is 
the very institution of which her conscience disapproves. 
I shall relate in this volume how, during the adminis- 
tration of Mr. Monroe, the North, then become rich, pros- 
perous, intelligent, and determined to end this unfair ex- 
clusion, struck a blow at the vital part — the labor system 
of the South : it was the Missouri struggle. I shall re- 
late how that was in due time retaliated by a counter- 
blow, nullification, struck by the South at the industry 
of the North. 
4 . . . Meantime climate kept up its dissever- 

Antagonism arises * *- 

Sl-changed 11 " i n g influence. ■ Alienation was passing into 
southern popuia- antagonism. It became evident that there 
would be a struggle for the mastery. 
I shall relate the stages of that struggle, and the vari- 
ous fortunes it exhibited. A history of the civil war has 
all the grand features of an epic poem. It is the story 


of contending powers for empire— the free and the slave ; 
it is a record of the victory of an idea. 

There is a political force in ideas which silently ren- 
The political force ders protestations, promises and guarantees, 
no matter in what good faith they may have 
been given, of no avail, and which makes constitutions 
obsolete. Against the uncontrollable growth of the anti- 
slavery idea the South was forced to contend. 

It is interesting to observe the history of that idea in 
America. The early colonists were ajl on an equality. 
Their language, their occupations, their hardships were 
all the same. They had the same relations with the 
mbther country ; they had endured at her hands the same 
wrongs ; they rejoiced in the same victories, and were 
saddened by the same defeats ; their hopes of future pros- 
perity were in common. In their festivities they sang 
the same songs; in their devotions -they knelt before the 
same God. 

When, therefore, the Declaration of Independence as- 
serted the equality of all men, it met with a willing as- 
sent. In the thin strand of country that lay along the 
Atlantic, the differentiation of society into orders had 
hardly yet begun. Among the whites there was a gen- 
eral equality. No castes or grades existed. 

The African population at that time gave no concern. 
It was thought that, from uncongeniality of climate and 
other causes, it would die out of itself. 

But when the Revolutionary War was fairly com- 
menced, and the negro, both in the North 
of the anti- slavery and the South, was seen fighting by the side 
of his master, thoughtful men began to per- 
ceive that they were committing a wrong. In Massachu- 
setts the Africans respectfully represented to the Honor- 
able Council and House that they had " cheerfully en- 
tered the field of battle in defense of the common cause," 


and asked as a reward that their children might be free 
at the age of twenty-one years. The moderation with 
which these persons bore themselves in the matter made 
them many friends, and eventually and imperceptibly 
slavery died out in that state. 

In this manner, the abstract idea of human rights, 

itbecomespredom- wnicn nad been promulgated and upheld by 
inant in the North, ^e great French writers of those times, found 

its practical exemplification in America. 

At the formation of the Constitution it was also be- 
lieved that African slavery would in like manner die in 
the South as it was dying in the North. Without seri- 
ous opposition from any quarter, three very important 
points were introduced into that instrument. 

The first of these was equality of state representation 
in the United States Senate : this, in the sub- 

Kelation of the ^ , .. , , . 

constitution to sequent course 01 events, led to the doctrine 

slavery. x ' 

of the balance of power between the North 
and the South, its inevitable result being a rivalry in ter- 
ritorial expansion. The second was the three-fifths slave 
computation in the apportionment of federal numbers, 
which at once tended to enhance the political value of 
the negro, and to exclude all other forms of labor and the 
use of machinery. The third ,was the contingent stop- 
page of the African trade, the emigrant supply for the 
North being unchecked. The South would never have 
consented to this had its operation been foreseen. It was 
this that eventually overwhelmed her. 

While things were in this position at the close of the 
last century, and good men all over the republic were ex- 
pecting that an institution which, perhaps not altogether 
correctly, they affirmed had been forced upon them by 
the mother country, would presently pass away, a new 
influence destined to disappoint their hopes was coming 
into operation. 


The physical sciences and industrial arts had been rap- 

unexpectedgrowth idl y advancing in England. The steam-en- 
ofthe slave interest. g me ^ a( j b een invented, and machinery for 

spinning and weaving greatly improved. An increasing 
demand for cotton had arisen. It was discovered that 
the Gulf States could supply *it more advantageously than 
any other part of the world, but, under the circumstances 
of the times, it could only be secured in them by the la- 
bor of African slsives. The slave therefore brought his 
master gold from abroad, and gave him political power 
in Congress at home. 

It was not wonderful, then, that the slave system struck 
its roots through Southern society. From 

It becomes predom- . , -, .. '.-11 it jii 

iuant in southern the beginning it had not been unacceptable 
to the climate-changed people, who, little dis- 
posed to work themselves, looked upon labor as discred- 

Warmth and cold had decomposed the American peo- 
ple, and ranged them in climate sections north and south. 
Unforeseen circumstances that were happening in Europe 
had given to each its special interests, and those interests 
were hourly becoming more and more antagonistic. In the 
competition that ensued there was an unlimited foreign 
labor supply for the one — that for the other was cut off. 
When the competition rose to a struggle, and the strug- 
gle became an exasperated conflict, it was not difficult to 
see what must be the inevitable result of this disparity. 

In the contest for territory, which politically meant a 

Enfeebiementofthe contest for the balance of power in the Unit- 
ftoppa^oTIf^an ed States Senate, the North could solidly 
make good her ground; as her expansion 
went on, she could put her voting emigrants on every acre ; 
but the South, though she might claim territory, had not 
the means of filling it. Her policy spontaneously defeat- 
ed itself. 


In two particulars, therefore, the South was placed at a 
disadvantage. She was contending with a moral idea 
which was momentarily increasing in force — the wrong- 
fulness of slavery. She was also contending with a mo- 
mentarily increasing material force arising from the phys- 
ical growth of the North. I 

The first clear view of the position of affairs in the 
stra le between re P u blic was had, as I have already remark- 
south°?n the la- e d, during the presidency of Mr. Monroe, by 
bor question. tlie rume( i Federalists. In their meditations 

during an exclusion from place and power, forced upon 
them for twenty years by the allied Democratic and 
slavery influences, they had detected the weak point of 
their adversaries. The movement they initiated in the 
Missouri struggle was sure in the end, though party names 
might change, to be crowned with success. 

The blow thus aimed against the industry of the South 

was retaliated by Nullification, a blow aimed 

resfoVthe^nu- against the industry of the North, and from 

slavery idea. ° J 7 _ 

1833 to 1860 attacks and compromises were 
made. But, at the time of the election of Mr. Lincoln, it 
was not possible to compose the differences any more. 
To the slaveholders the vote that had been given in 1856 
to Mr. Fremont was the sound of a death-knell. It was 
plain that power was slipping forever away from the 
hands that had hitherto held it. In their judgment, the 
choice lay between the destruction of slavery and the de- 
struction of the Union. 

From being the chiefs of a political party, the lead- 
ers of the South had become, by insensible 

Secession, or sepa- ' *> 

SeSouSfasaJem- degrees, conspirators against the republic. 
edy - They resolved to attempt the perpetuation 

of slavery by separating from the North. History shows 
how much easier it is to deceive than to undeceive man- 
kind ; yet not without difficulty did they persuade their 


people to take that fatal step, assuring them that the De- 
mocracy of the North would, as heretofore, be their ally, 
and that secession, so far from occasioning war, would be 
peaceably accomplished. They knew that if that step 
were once taken, a military enthusiasm would arise which 
would justify any thing, and accordingly so it proved. 
The South was brought to the belief that she was right 
in her revolt, the conspiracy became an armed insurrec- 
tion, warlike preparations of all kinds were openly car-' 4 
ried on, forts, custom-houses, post-offices, navy yards were 
seized, mints were plundered, the Mississippi was block- 
aded, and the few who had misgivings as to what was 
taking place were awed into muteness. 

For us who are contemporaries of this struggle, and 
The North resists, who have witnessed the carnage, it becomes a 

and a military con- -i -i , • , •, . 

met thus arises solemn duty to raise up a voice to posterity. 
causes. The conditions that brought on this conflict 

exist in other directions, and will in due time exert their 
deleterious power. Though in one sense slavery was an 
ephemeral incident, and abolition an ephemeral instinct 
of our national life, they will have future equivalents 
under other forms. Varied climate and opposing inter- 
. a . . .;, ests will tend to renew these contests here- 

Such conflicts will ^ 

recur - after. If this has been the issue between 

the North Atlantic and the Gulf States, what may not 
be expected from the rivalries of the dwellers in the 
Great Basin, those of the Pacific slope, those of the 
Columbian Northwest — the Germany of America ? The 
imperial republic- shortly to be made manifest has a 
Persia, an India, a Palestine, a Tartary of its own. To 
bind together so many diverse people ; to co-ordinate 
their conflicting rights; to concentrate into one nation 
men who, though all of American birth, are in one place 
representatives of the fair European, in another of the 
turbaned Asiatic, in another of the {lusky African, will 



demand a statesmanship that recognizes as its animating 
principle justice to all. On that alone can the vast 
structure of the future republic solidly stand. 

Contemplating such various and colossal interests, each 
of which must be satisfied, we can not fail to remark how 
transitory all constitutional forms are liable to be, except 
in so far as they are pervaded by that immortal principle. 
While we view with veneration the political work of our 
forefathers, it is well for us to profit -by their example. 
Their first attempt — the Confederation — was, in their own 
estimation, an acknowledged failure ; their second attempt 
— the Constitution — we have outgrown. Wherever it 
compromised justice for the sake of expediency, it has 
proved to be an insufficient guide. A great nation must 
recognize principle, and not form, as its rule of life ; as it 
gathers knowledge, it must not hesitate to modify its 
written Constitution according to its improving light. 

Nature will dominate over man, and will constrain his 
_ .„ iT . actions. We need not flatter ourselves that 

They illustrate the 

Sn^er "" we are t° be any exception. The laws of 
webstefand Mr. the world are unswerving, unvarying in their 
operation. There is nothing privileged in 
the universe. It was such considerations as these that 
led Mr. Webster to declare in the Senate in 1850 that there 
is a law superior to those of the republic, a law settling 
things forever with a strength beyond all terms of hu- 
man enactment — the law of Nature. " I would not take 
pains uselessly to reaffirm an ordinance of Nature, nor to 
re-enact the will of God." Impressed with the events of 
the eight following years (1 858), Mr. Seward, referring to 
the threatening antagonism of the times, declared, " Shall 
I tell you what this collision means ? They who think 
it accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanat- 
ical agitators, and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case 


altogether. It is an irrepressible conflict between oppos- 
ing and enduring forces." 

Then must we submit ourselves unresistingly to the 
tyranny of Nature, and accept things as they 

^fSgfrw? thl" come with stoical indifference, or Mohammed- 
consequences of . . onr-n • .1 • TT • 
such natural innu- an resignations bnall we give up this Union 

ences. ° , . . , . 

because we see that it is threatened in all 
directions with dangers ? Has not science taught us that 
we may deliver ourselves from such evils, and increase at 
once our happiness and power by a right interpretation 
of Nature — by availing ourselves of the unvarying opera- 
tion of those laws which we can not directly resist ? Op- 
posing conditions we may reconcile ; conflicts that are ir- 
repressible we may manage ; disasters we may avert, or 
even turn into blessings. 

How numerous are the historical incidents to which 
we might refer in proof of our capability of delivering 
ourselves from the action of natural laws, though we can 
not modify their character nor arrest their operation. No 
portion of the annals of humanity is more melancholy 

than the records of great famines and pes- 
Escape from fam- tilences. A famine remotely depends on 

meteorological or other natural causes — 
droughts, or wet weather, or vegetable disease. When 
we read that in the famine AD. 1030, so dire was the 
distress in Europe that cannibalism was resorted to, and 
human flesh was cooked and sold, shall we affirm that 
our forefathers were thus chastened by the Almighty for 
their sins, and considering that such inflictions have in 
modern society for the most part ceased, that He is more 
merciful to us ? Or shall we not rather concede the inva- 
riability of His decrees, and attribute our deliverance to 
our own industry, which, having developed modern com- 
merce, compensates for the scarcity of one country by 
the plenty of another ? 



One of the latest events of this kind- — it ought to have 
been the last in modern civilization — the famine in Ire- 
land — instructively illustrates these principles. There 
were far-seeing men who had earnestly remonstrated 
against the improvidence of so numerous a community 
relying for support on the production of only one escu- 
lent. The disease that struck the potato left all the ce- 
reals untouched. It was not the anger of Heaven kin- 
dled against a people who, perhaps, were not more meet 
for the Destroyer than many others of our sinful race — 
it was a vicious system of agriculture that permitted the 
catastrophe — and whose fault was that ? 

The history of great pestilences teaches us the same 
Escape from pesti- lesson with equal emphasis. The plague of 
Athens raged so frightfully that it absolute- 
ly broke the spirit and power of that capital. The plague 
that was brought to Rome by the army of Verus gave a 
death-blow to literature and art ; the ancient world never 
recovered from it. Five thousand people died in one day 
in Rome ; it destroyed many of the most illustrious men 
in the empire. A century later, half the population were 
carried off by the plague of Gallienus. The Latin lan- 
guage itself was corrupted. In the plague of Justinian, 
so awful was the devastation that the Greek pronuncia- 
tion, and even the writing, changed. It was estimated 
that one third of the population of France died of the 
plague of 1348. 

Do we, in modern times, submit in apathy to such ap- 
palling visitations ? Even in antiquity there were learn- 
ed men, far in advance of their age, who anticipated what 
slow experience has taught us, who serenely encounter- 
ed a storm of misrepresentation and odium from their 
ignorant, interested, and superstitious contemporaries. 
Four hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Greek 
physician, Hippocrates, insisted that these calamities may 


be prevented by rigorous cleanliness, fresh air, light, and 
other sanitary means ; that they are not punishments in- 
flicted by the vengeful gods, but incidents of Nature that 
men may avoid. 

If, then, we can find deliverance from such devastating 
calamities as famine and pestilence, may we 

N*GCGSSltV of the 

study of Nature not hope to abate the less obvious but not 

to the statesman. x . . 

less fatal influences that are unceasingly act- 
ing upon us. We have only to study Nature in order to 
prevail over her. The progress of knowledge and that 
of civilization are proceeding with an equal step; but for 
full fruition we must wait for the noontide of science 
which is yet to come. 

Let us trust, then, that the assertion of the irrepressible 
nature of our political conflict is not altogether correct. 
If the opposing conditions originate in physical causes 
that can be understood, the difficulty may come within 
the reach of human control. Especially is this to be 
hoped for in a nation in which personal freedom prevails, 
for the reasoning power of a community increases with 
its liberty. American civilization, operating through edu- 
cational means, rests all its hopes on the development of 
reason. It trusts itself, without reserve, to what every 
day is making more and more apparent, that the tend- 
ency of knowledge is to produce unison of opinion by 
bringing men nearer and nearer to the truth. In the do- 
mains of science that are most advanced there is no dis- 
sent. In mathematics and astronomy there are neither 
heretics nor rebels. Error, though as intractable as ada- 
mant, may be dissipated by light converging upon it, 
though it can never be annihilated by blows, no matter 
how powerful they may be. 

We may, then, trust for a solution of our future polit- 
Mr caihoun's opin- i ca l difficulties in a philosophical study of 

ion on that point. ^^ ^^ A ^ J^Jg^ fafo ^ ^^ 



led Mr. Calhoun to declare that, in the discussion of our 
political problems, we must not deal with humanity alone, 
but must include Nature. And when we reflect on the 
comparatively isolated position of the republic, having 
no conterminous political rival, and in that respect differ- 
ing widely from European powers, which are unceasingly 
pressing on each other, we may perceive that statesman- 
ship here must necessarily assume a simple and yet a 
higher form, since it must deal more with Nature and 
less with humanity. In Europe statesmanship must tend 
to assume an empirical, in America a scientific character. 
We must admit that the former homogeneous condi- 
tion of our nation is disturbed ; that influ- 

Co-ordination of -| -. . . i • i i n 

climate -changed ences nave been in operation wnicn nave de- 
Americans. . x 

composed us into at least two separate peo- 
ple ; and that this process of segmentation will be repeat- 
ed. In vain shall we seek to recombine or to produce 
homogeneousness again. All efforts in that direction 
would be only time and labor wasted. We are con- 
strained to accept this as an accomplished fact, and seek 
to produce concord out of the antagonism. In the social 
as in a physical machine, wheels that are engaged with 
one another may run with an opposing motion to their 
common point of contact, and yet agree in producing a 
harmonious result. 

To retard the future tendency to race- variety, or, if that 
be impossible, to bring into unison race -diversities, such 
is the problem for the American statesman to solve. Mr. 
Lincoln, in his inaugural address, forcibly pointed out the 
stern necessity of our position. " We can not separate, 
we can not remove our respective sections from each 
other. We can not build an impassable wall between 
Absolute necessity t]iem - A husband and a wife may be di- 
?o f r fi S?chlo?ordMa- vorced, and go out of the presence and be- 
yond the reach of each other, but the differ- 


ent parts of our country can not do this. They can not 
but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or 
hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, 
to make that intercourse more advantageous or more sat- 
isfactory after separation than before ? Can aliens make 
treaties better than friends can make laws ? Can treaties 
be more faithfully enforced among aliens than laws among 
friends ? Suppose you do go to war, you can not fight 
always ; and when, after much loss on both sides and no 
gain to either, you cease fighting, the identical questions 
as to terms of intercourse are again upon you." 

In the following pages I shall endeavor to elucidate 
General principles the principles here set forth; to show how, 
in the face of a necessity for union, race-di- 
versity has arisen, and endeavor to identify the influ- 
ences that have produced this result. In the solution 
of political problems we must handle our species in mass- 
es, comparing one generation with another, and determ- 
ining their mental differences. I consider American his- 
tory as divisible into arbitrary periods, each answering 
to one generation. The three groups, occurring between 
1775 and 1865 offer very striking contrasts when com- 
pared together. The first was engaged in forming and 
developing the idea of Unionism. During the second, 
differentiation, or a partition into political segments, was 
taking effect. The third was engaged in a conflict. Such 
divisions, it must, however, be understood, are only for 
convenience. Time does not measure the length of life, 
either personal or national. We live, on different occa- 
sions, at very different rates of speed. The habits of men 
are greatly affected by those rates. In times of stagna- 
tion we look to the past ; in times of activity to the fu- 
ture. Happiness, both of the individual and of the com- 
munity, increases with the intensity of life. 


Nature and man are the elements with which the his- 
torian has to deal. 

I shall, therefore, commence with a brief description 

of the physical peculiarities of the United 

they are attempted States, deducing the necessity of national 

to be carried out. ' ° J 


A study of the past teaches us to interpret correctly 
the present. The influences of climate and topographical 
conditions are strikingly manifested in the past history of 
the North American continent. To that history I shall 
therefore turn, with a view of illustrating the causes of 
the increasing tendency to a production of race-varieties 
which has lain at the basis of our disastrous disputes and 
conflicts. Those causes have been in operation through 
all time — long before a Jiuman being was submitted to 
their influence ; and what they have done in the last cen- 
tury or two is no more than a continuation of what they 
accomplished in countless preceding ages. When once 
we have learned the surprising results to which they have 
given birth in old times, we shall be prepared to appre^ 
ciate the impression they are making upon us now. In 
the hand of Nature, man is like clay in the hand of the 

Every man, and, indeed, every society of men, is, as it 
were, a living mirror reflecting surrounding nature from 
its own point of view, and representing the influences of 
every thing to which it is exposed. Hence any living 
being, thoroughly studied, could reveal not only its own 
history, but the past history of the whole world. 

Peculiarities once impressed on plastic humanity are 
not instantaneously abolished, though the circumstances 
of life may change. The inevitable modification that 
must at last take place is only accomplished by degrees. 
Hence the race-peculiarities of the first settlers, as well as 
of the present immigrants of the United States^ are an his- 


torical element. Believing that like causes will always 
produce on the human constitution like effects, I shall, 
without hesitation, refer to what has taken place in cor- 
responding climate-zones elsewhere on the earth as illus- 
trations of what may be expected here. To scientific his- 
tory foreknowledge is not impossible. 

But to those natural causes of disturbance must be 
added certain artificial or incidental ones, arising from 
the circumstances of our national life. Among them is 
especially to be mentioned the institution of slavery. A 
study of these prepares the way for understanding the 
conflict rn which we have been engaged. 

In the history of that conflict I shall write in no par- 
tisan strain, endeavoring as earnestly as I can to ascertain 
the truth, and weigh the facts with impartiality, impas- 
sively relating how, after many sacrifices, victory was 
vouchsafed to the free and loyal North, and how, after a 
struggle of transcendent energy, the South had to accept 
a lost cause. I shall constantly endeavor to turn my 
readers' thoughts to the influence exerted by Nature on 
the constitution and actions of man. In a general man- 
ner that influence had long been recognized, but I am 
persuaded that it plays a far more important part than 
is commonly supposed. Estimating rightly these things, 
we are led to entertain more philosophical, more enlarged, 
more enlightened, and, in truth, more benevolent views of 
each other's proceedings. Estrangements subside when 
men mutually begin to inquire into the philosophical 
causes of each other's obliquities ; when they comprehend 
that there overrides so many of their apparently volunta- 
ry actions, a necessary, an unavoidable constraint. The 
springs of history are not, as was for a long time im- 
agined, the machinations of statesmen or the ambition of 
kings. They are to be found in the silent influences of 
Nature. The philosopher will often detect the true causes 


of great political and social convulsions, of sectional ha- 
treds and national attachments, in the shining of the sun 
and in the falling of rains. 

The points which therefore present themselves for con- 
sideration in this volume are, 


I. Physical characteristics of North America; the 
topography and meteorology of the republic. 

II. The character of the colonial and subsequent pop- 

III. The tendency to antagonism impressed upon that 
population by climate and other causes. 

IV. The gradual development of two geographical par- 
ties, the North and the South. 

V. Their struggles for supremacy in the Union. 
VI. The rupture between them. 





Description of North America, more particularly of the Mississippi Valley, and 
the Atlantic and Pacific Kegions, showing that from topographical construction, 
the distribution of rain, the direction of the winds, differences of heat and cold, 
etc., there are great diversities in the natural aspect of different portions of the 
republic, a varied productive capacity, and that important modifications in con- 
stitution and character are impressed on the inhabitants. 

The topographical construction of North America fits 
_ . , it to be the political home of one people — 

The rivers of * rx 

Kto A eXbi C ish one nation. Its rivers show by their course 
political unity. ^^ ^ s con tinent is concave toward the 

sky; Europe and Asia, on the contrary, are convex. Their 
rivers flow away in every direction from a central eleva- 
tion; ours seek a central depression. It necessarily fol- 
lows that their populations tend to diffusion, and along 
every great system of streams distinct nations exist. 
With us there is a tendency to intercommunication, to 
concentration, to union. It is not a poetical metaphor, 
but an historical fact, that they have derived the ideas 
that have served as a guide to their life from the sky; 
ours, it may be unfortunately, but not the less irresist- 
ibly, tend toward the earth. They have been under the 
influence of religious sentiment ; we shall be controlled by 
industrial pursuits. In Europe, spiritual aspirations pre- 
dominate ; in America, physical. Each follows a predes- 


tined course, determined by the configuration and rela- 
tions of the continent on which Providence has cast its lot. 
That portion of the continent known as the United 
States consists, for the most part, of a vast 

Three planes form in •» -, -, .-, .-... -. 

the Mississippi vai- valley formed by three inclining planes. 
The first plane gently slopes from the Rocky 
Mountains on the west until it reaches the bed of the 
Mississippi. The second descends from the Appalachians 
in the east, and intersects the first along the line of that 
great river, the two conjointly forming the sides of the 
Mississippi Valley. This valley is shut in by the third 
great plane descending from the north. In the crevice 
of intersection between the first and third planes flows 
the majestic Missouri; in the crevice of intersection be- 
tween the third and the second flows the Ohio. 

The first plane bears on its surface the Red River and 
Arkansas, with their vast systems of subor- 
scendSgthost dinate streams. On the second are the Ten- 
nessee and Cumberland, with their affiliated 
waters. Along the third descends the Mississippi itself, 
flowing gently to the south, and, receiving in succession 
all the others, the gigantic resulting trunk discharges it- 
self into the Gulf of Mexico. The three planes are not 
of equal age; that inclining from the north is the oldest, 
that from the Appalachians to the Mississippi the next, 
that from the Rocky Mountains the most recent. 

The Mississippi Valley is equal in surface to all Europe 
except Russia, Norway, and Sweden. It has no topo- 
graphical obstructions. It contains immense navigable 
rivers, and is connected with vast inland seas. Three 
gateways open from it to the outer world. 
opemng from the 1st. The Mississippi itself, leading to the 
West India seas in the south. 2d. The St. 
Lawrence, leading to the Atlantic on the east, and having 
lake expansions extending to the very heart of the valley, 


their shore-line being six thousand miles, and the shore- 
line of the St. Lawrence three thousand more. On the 
south of the St. Lawrence there is a postern, New York. 
3d. The western gateway is through the south pass of 
the Rocky Mountains, toward the Pacific. The rivers 
have a navigable shore-line equal to that of the Atlantic 

Such is the Mississippi Valley. No foreign intruder 
The centre of the can ever disturb the inaccessible security of 
Mississippi vaiiey. ^ s inhabitants. Its geographical, perhaps 

also its future political centre, is marked out by the con- 
fluence of its three chief streams — the Mississippi, the 
Missouri, the Ohio. 

Toward the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Pacific 
on the west, this noble valley is bordered by very import- 
ant territories. 

On the east there descends from the Alleghanies the 
structure of the Atlantic border, a slope which does not ter- 
Atiantic border. mma t e a ^ the shore, but continues under the 
Atlantic Ocean. Off the coast of New Jersey it in- 
clines about one foot in seven hundred, extending sea- 
ward eighty miles. At that distance there is a sud- 
den dip, at a steep angle, constituting a profound abyss, 
the proper trough of the Atlantic Ocean. The At- 
lantic border turns the north and south flanks of the 
Alleghany ridge, in the latter direction gradually merg- 
ing in the Mississippi Valley. Its rivers are, for the most 
part, short and rapid. Its mountain ridges are not high 
enough to give contrasts of climate on their opposite 
sides; both are equally watered and wooded; nor have 
they influence enough to disturb the general climate, or 
to impress any marked effect on the quantity of rain. 
This border is memorable in American history as con- 
taining the original states, and as being the theatre of the 
events of the Kevolutionary War. 


Beyond the Mississippi Valley on the west there are 
lofty plateaus and arid basins not inferior 

Structure of the , ,1 •» » . • . n n .^ .. . 

great basin of the to those oi Asia itself; there are lntermm- 


able saline plains, with a surface like that 
of the Caspian territory — regions having no exterior drain- 
age to the sea. The chief topographical feature may be' 
described as a subordinate valley, running nearly parallel 
to that of the Mississippi, and known as the Great Basin. 
It is included between the Rocky Mountains on one side 
and the Sierra Nevada on the other. It is a valley of 
high elevation, being 4000 or 5000 feet above that of the 
Mississippi — a gallery in that grand theatre. The Salt 
Lake at its northeast has already attained singular polit- 
ical significance. It is in a direct line between the South 
Pass in the mountains and San Francisco, the chief harbor 
of the Pacific. The Mormons, an enterprising communi- 
ty, daily growing in wealth and power, but devoted to a 
base superstition, and practicing the Asiatic custom of 
polygamy, have made this basin their abode. 

North and south of the Mormon country there are no 
transverse mountains, and hence it may be said that that 
elevated valley is a belt of basins and saline lakes. The 
climate is Asiatic. It is marked by an absence of moist- 
ure when rain is not falling. Often for days together 
there is a difference of twenty degrees between the dry 
and the wet bulb thermometer. It is affirmed that in 
the more southerly portion, when the temperature is 95°, 
sensible perspiration is rarely experienced even during 

Asiatic features of the most violent exercise ; and in the desert 
the Pacific region. ^ eYe } g no l an g UOr or oppressiveness, though 

the heat is sometimes 120°. Owing to this singular dry- 
ness buffalo-meat does not putrefy, and the grasses cure 
on the ground as they stand into hay without losing their 
nutritive portions. For the same reason the soil abounds 
in alkaline salts, which, arising from the weathering or de- 


composition of the rocks, is not washed or lixiviated away. 
The cactus and artemisia — plants that delight in dryness 
— give to the landscape an aspect of desolate sterility. 
The mountain range toward the coast has sufficient ele- 
vation to shut out one third — the lower portion — of the 
atmosphere, repelling the sea-climate of the Pacific, and 
producing over a long zone a frightful desert, or weari- 
some sandy plains like those of Central Asia. 

The thermometer in these regions shows an extensive 
diurnal range of temperature ; at midday it may be 80°, 
and at sunrise 24°, the pellucid and cloudless atmosphere 
offering but little obstruction to the absorption and radi- 
ation of heat. In the Atlantic regions of the United 
States the surface configuration exerts scarcely any per- 
ceptible influence; in the Pacific regions it is very differ- 
ent. The mountain elevations control the meteorology, 
and determine the aspect of the landscape. 

Beyond the snowy range of the Sierra Nevada, anoth- 
er slope, interrupted by the Coast Range, descends to the 
Pacific Ocean. Its rivers are short and rapid. To this 
there is but one exception — the Columbia — of which the 
head waters are in the Rocky chain, and which forces its 
way through the Cascade Ridge into the Pacific Ocean. 

The Columbia basin may be considered as a continua- 
tion of that of Utah. There is a succession 

Physical character , , . n th ■ * s* i -it m 

of the Columbia oi these depressions from Jbort Colville to 

in * i i • -i •» i 

the latitude of the southern part of the Cali- 

fornian peninsula. The gorge in the Cascades, through 
which the river delivers its drainage from a surface of 
300,000 square miles, is marked by a succession of ter- 
races, indicating the subsidence of what was once a 
vast inland sea. The interior rocky table -lands are 
prairies covered with rich grasses, the valley streams 
being fringed with cotton-wood, alder, and willow. As 
the elevation approaches 2500 feet, the mountains as- 


sume a clothing of timber. The country, as far north as 
58°, is the American counterpart of Germany. Vancou- 
ver's Island, on the coast, resembles the British Islands in 
its meteorology ; it has cool summers, warm winters, and 
a moist climate. The descent through British and Rus- 
sian America toward the Arctic Sea is an American Si- 
beria. The Cascade Range is full of picturesque and 
sublime scenery. It towers above the Rocky Mountains, 
its culminating peaks rivaling in grandeur the most cele- 
brated mountains in the world. Mount Hood, covered 
with its dense firs, its pyramid crest passing into the re- 
gion of eternal snow, surpasses Mont Blanc in altitude 
by more than 2000 feet. Though the general level of 
this basin is so high, being in that respect like Utah, the 
climate is very mild, in the open lands the winter snows 
rarely lasting more than a week. From the beginning 
of December to the beginning of March, the chinook 
wind, intermittently blowing from the southwest, and as 
warm as the south wind of the Atlantic in May, clears 
off the snow. It is a true sirocco, covering the sky with 
brown and fiery-looking clouds. 

In the following pages I shall, for the sake of conven- 
u . . ,. . ience, consider the United States as geo- 

Geograpnical dm- " <-> 

iic°?ntotwore? ub ' graphically divided into two regions. A 
gions. j- ne runn j n g north and south along the east- 

ern edge of the great interior plains separates the whole 
country into two natural divisions, contrasting strikingly 
with each other in their physical aspect and meteorology. 
And since the meridian of 100° W. coincides sufficiently 
with that line, I shall regard it as the separating limit, 
and speak of all that lies to the east of it as the Atlantic 
region of the United States, and all to the west as the 
Pacific region. 

The Atlantic Region, therefore, includes the Missis- 


sippi Valley and the old states. It has been the theatre 
of the recent civil war. 

The Pacific Kegion includes the great plains of the 
interior, the elevated basins, the culminating mount- 
ain ranges, and the newly-settled states of the Western 

A traveler pursuing his way across the continent on 
section across the the fortieth parallel of north latitude would 
ascend the Atlantic border through New 
Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, and reach the summit 
of the Alleghany Ridge. He would descend in succes- 
sion through Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illi- 
nois, to the bottom of the Mississippi Valley. • He would 
now climb through Missouri, and, traveling along the di- 
viding line between Kansas and Nebraska, would attain, 
in the middle of Colorado, the heights of the Rocky 
Mountains. Descending their western flank, he would 
pass in Utah through the great basin, that valley of ele- 
vation or gallery in which is situated the Mormon Lake. 
Another ascent through Nevada would carry him to the 
heights of the Sierra of that name ; and now, finally de- 
scending, if he directed his course a little to the south, he 
would reach the Pacific Ocean at the city of San Fran- 

He would successively pass through a wooded strand, 
the noble forests of which are now fast disappearing un- 
der the axe — a strand of treeless prairies — an arid, sandy 
district, the soil saline and sterile — an enormous belt of 
elevated land without an equivalent in Europe, its east- 
ern aspect a forbidding desert, its western Asiatic, pre- 
figuring the continent toward which it looks. Down the 
rapid incline to the Pacific Ocean he would find the moist 
and genial atmosphere of Ireland and Spain — a succes- 
sion of zones offering all the contrasts of Nature, and des- 



tined in future ages to be filled with every variety of 
modified men. 

Section across the United States, latitude 40° N. 

A section of the United States from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific exhibits clearly these topographical features : 
a is the Atlantic Ocean ; h, the Alleghany Ridge ; c, the 
Mississippi River ; from b to £?, the Mississippi Valley ; d y 
the Rocky Mountains; e,f, the great elevated basin;/, 
the Sierra Nevada ; g 1 the Coast Mountains ; h, the Pacific 

It must, however, be understood that such a section 
presents the facts in an exaggerated manner 

Actual topograph- i ji 1 j.' "L • I-a i» aT~ x. 

icai configuration as respects the relative height ot the mount- 

of the continent. . x ° 

am ranges, lhus the Rocky Mountain re- 
gion, instead of offering an abrupt and precipitous aspect 
in such bold proportions to the surface on which it rests, 
is more correctly a broad and gentle swell of the surface, 
with a base of a thousand miles, its eastern slope continu- 
ing for six hundred miles, its western four or five hund- 
red, the inclination being on an average ten feet to a mile. 
The passes on the summit have a height of from six to 
ten thousand feet, the ridges carrying the elevation more 
abruptly to twelve or fourteen thousand. Fremont de- 
scribes the ascent through the South Pass as not unlike 
that of the hill of the Capitol at Washington. Grand as 
these mountain regions may be to the eye of an artist, 
they are to the geologist nothing more than corrugated 
flexures of the general surface. In a section made across 


the continent on a scale of six inches, they would be alto- 
gether imperceptible. A correct estimate of their actual 
proportions is essentially necessary to a just conception 
of the manner in which they have been formed. 

Along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida, the 
annual quantity of rain decreases as the place 

Of the distribution p , .. . ,-it t -• ^ ~ ^ 

of rain in North oi observation is more southerly. In 1 80 9 

America. •» -n • -R/r • • l /» • • tti 

there fell m Maine 49 inches of ram ; m Flor- 
ida, 41 ; in Virginia, which is intermediate, 48. But the 
Gulf States, Mississippi and Alabama, owing to their 
proximity to the West India Sea, were still more abund- 
antly supplied : in the former there fell 53 inches, in the 
latter 59. These copious rains exert no little influence 
on the production of the cotton crop. In that year, of 
the second tier of Atlantic States, Tennessee had 45 
inches ; Kentucky, 46 ; Ohio, 44. Passing from Ohio 
westwardly, there was a rapid diminution. Indiana had 
only 36 ; Illinois, 32 ; Iowa, 33 ; Nebraska, 21. In a gen- 
eral manner it may therefore be affirmed that the quan- 
tity of rain diminishes as the Rocky Mountains are ap- 
proached, and that in Nebraska not half as much falls as 
in the Atlantic States. 

These estimates include the water descending as snow. 
If not directly measured by melting, its quantity is com- 
puted upon the admission that ten inches of snow will 
yield one of water. I have employed the meteorologic- 
al observations made under the direction of the United 
States Patent Office and the Smithsonian Institution, 
and published by Congress. I am also much indebted 
to Blodget's Climatology of the United States. 

The annual rain maps of the United States show three 
places of maximum of the first order. In 
mum 1C and IS- these the fall is 63 inches for the year. Two 
of them are areas of about one hundred miles 

mum rain. 


in diameter, the centre of one being Lake Okeechobee, in 
Florida ; that of the second being about fifty miles north 
of Mobile ; the third is a long strip upon the Pacific coast, 
stretching from Cape Orford northward beyond Vancou- 
ver's Island. The point of minimum is at the junction 
of the great Colorado and Gila Kivers, where the yearly 
depth is only 3 inches ; the general average in the basin 
of the interior is about 10 inches, and on the plains of 
the interior, through almost twenty degrees of latitude, it 
is about 15. 

Leaving out of consideration minor and limited varia- 
uniformit in the tions, it may be said that in all regions east 
t^Atotfcre? 111 of the Rocky Mountains, the distinguishing 
feature is the symmetry and uniformity in 
the amount of rain over large areas. It has rarely any 
relation to the configuration of the country. On the 
Atlantic border, and in the Central States, it would yield 
a surface stratum about 3^ feet deep. The district of 
periodic rains is west of the Rocky Mountain plateau, 
except in New Mexico, whence it extends eastward into 
Texas, and there the autumnal rainy season is well mark- 
ed. The uniformity and symmetry above referred to 
shows that the supply comes from remote sources, and 
that the causes inducing such a constant precipitation are 
not to be found in the configuration of the country. In 
a rude manner, the shadings of the rain maps correspond 
to the isothermal lines, indicating that there is a relation 
between the quantity of water precipitated and the tem- 

The great American valley is drained, for the most 
Drama e of the P ar ^ ^J ^ ne Mississippi and its tributaries. 
MiSLfppi vaiiey. Qf these the Missouri, coming through Da- 
cotah, brings down about one seventh of the water fur- 
nished to its territory by the rains. The Ohio brings 
down one fourth of its supply ; the Mississippi itself also 
L— D 


one fourth. The average annual discharge into the Gulf 
of Mexico, as shown by Humphreys and Abbot, in their 
Report on the Mississippi River, based upon surveys and 
investigations made under acts of Congress, is nearly 
twenty trillions of cubic feet (19,500,000,000,000). The 
solid material annually brought down by the river, either 
in suspension as silt, or pushed on bodily before it, is 
equal to a mass one square mile in surface and 268 feet 
thick. This represents the wear and tear of the valley, 
or its loss of material by denuding causes. 

The Missouri, descending from its sources in the Rocky 
Mountains, falls about 6800 feet, that is, about 28 inches 
per mile. The Mississippi, coming down the face of the 
lower old northern incline, has a less fall to make on the 
passage from its head waters in Minnesota to its junction 
with the Missouri, the fall per mile being about 11 f 
inches. From that point to the Gulf of Mexico it follows 
a more gentle incline in the trough of the valley, aver- 
aging but little more than 5 inches per mile. 

In the earlier parts of its course the Missouri suffers so 
much from evaporation that it gains nothing in volume 
for hundreds of miles below the Yellowstone River, a 
striking illustration of the difference of climate on the op- 
posite sides of the Oregon basin. The atmospheric dry- 
ness is, however, still greater in the basin itself. From 
the point where the Rocky Mountains and Coast Range 
merge into one in British America, southward to near the 
latitude of the city of Mexico, a region extending through 
seventeen degrees of latitude and ten of longitude, there 
is an area of deficient rain, drained only by two rivers, 
the Columbia and the Colorado; and since they receive 
their volume mostly from the mountains, it may be said 
that there are 400,000 square miles of American surface 
sending no rivers to the sea. 

Climate differences of abundant moisture and excessive 


dryness are thus encountered as we pass from the At- 
lantic sea-board to the great coast ranges of 
DowSln o? Siiin the West. The number of rainy days in the 

the Pacific region. , . . . , . . 

year diminishes. An impression must inev- 
itably be made on the physical constitution and domestic 
manners of the bands of population that in future times 
will live upon those zones. Nor must we overlook the 
singular condition of the Pacific coast itself. In the Sac- 
ramento Valley, rain falls but three or four months in the 
year; the total depth in California in 1859 was only 
twenty-one inches ; but, passing northward, the quantity 
increases in a most extraordinary manner. After reach- 
ing the bend of the coast at Cape Mendocino, we ap- 
proach the region of maximum heretofore referred to, the 
quantity steadily increasing, until, as the Russian author- 
ities report, the depth at Sitka is actually 90 inches in 
the year. 

In the infancy of physical knowledge it was supposed 

The winds of North ^ na ^ ^ ne wni( ls are the causes of the weather, 
America. orie w i n< j bringing a clear sky, another clouds 

and rain. They were imagined to be in some mysterious 
manner a propulsion of air. Classical mythology feign- 
ed that each wind was due to a personified being : thus 
Zephyrus impelled the west wind by the fanning motion 
of his silken butterfly wings — or that they escaped from a 
cave in the land of storms, where King ^Eolus kept them 
confined. But winds are not the causes of atmospheric 
variations — they are the effects. Nor are they produced 
by propulsion — they originate in aspiration. 

Over a large part of British America, and all the United 
The great westerly States except the most southerly districts, at 
wind - a height ranging above seven thousand feet, 

a west wind is perpetually blowing. It moves in the 
middle latitudes at a rate of about twenty miles per hour, 


and, there is reason to believe, passes all round the globe. 
It is not due to local, but rather to astronomical causes. 
The lower aspect of this zone is the region of cloud form- 
ation, and the uniform rains of the Atlantic region of the 
continent come from this source. 

The stratum beneath this westerly zone is for the most 
part occupied by local and irregular winds 

Local winds pro- -it t i -i 

duced by the great and calms. In some places, however, there 

and desert. . , -»■ ' ' 

is a preponderating direction throughout the 
year. Thus, on the Gulf coast, a sea-breeze prevails. It is 
especially well marked in Texas. The lines of direction 
of these inland winds point to the hot and arid desert 
interior. The heat of the Plains gives rise to a draft 
from the Gulf up the gentle incline of Texas, a predom- 
inating southeasterly current. The surface winds of Tex- 
as, therefore, offer a striking example of the mode of es- 
tablishment of atmospheric currents. They are not pro- 
pelled from the Gulf of Mexico, but aspired by the north- 
westerly plains. These winds affect the meteorology of 
all the cotton states, and, indeed, of the whole Mississippi 
Valley south of the fortieth parallel. 

In like manner, the hot desert, by rarefying the air rest- 
ing upon it, and establishing an upward movement, draws 
through the passes of the Sierra Nevada cool winds from 
the Pacific, thus moderating the climate of those passes 
to the fervid interior basin. It is affirmed that these 
winds blow with so much force that the sands they drive 
before them streak with parallel lines the surfaces of the 

I have already remarked how little the Atlantic region 
of the United States is affected by topographical config- 
uration. The Alleghany chain makes hardly any impres- 
sion. But it is altogether different in the Pacific region ; 
its culminating ridges and elevated table-lands control 
the climate and determine the aspect of nature. 


The inferior atmospheric stratum to the height of six 
or seven thousand feet is, therefore, the domain of irregu- 
larity and intermittence. In a general manner, however, 
all our atmospheric disturbances move from the west to 
the east. Many of the surface winds depend upon the 
rains descending from the higher strata of clouds. Some 
of those rains may be traced two thirds of the distance 
across the continent, from the Plains to the Atlantic 
Ocean. But far above this region of apparently fortui- 
tous vicissitudes sweeps the eternal west wind, silently 
pursuing by night and by day its resistless progress 
round the world. 

The succession of climates through which the Missis- 

ciimatesoftheMis- si PPi flows is v . ei 7 striking. The mean year- 
sissippi vaiiey. |y temperature of the region of its sources 

in Minnesota is 40°; the mean yearly temperature at its 
mouth is 72°. Between these points the temperature of 
the successive states past which it flows is as follows: 
Wisconsin, 45°; Iowa, 48°; Illinois, 49°; Missouri, 55°; 
Tennessee, 56° ; Arkansas, 63° ; Mississippi, 63°. That 
is, the heat increases from 40° to 72°, as the point of ob- 
servation is more southerly along a line of about twelve 
hundred miles. 

With the climate through which the Mississippi passes, 
veptationofthe tne vegetable product varies. In the upper 
vaiiey. portion as far as the Hatchee, it is chiefly 

corn; thence to the .Bed River, cotton; thence, sugar. 
There are orange-groves near its mouth. 

To the willow, sycamore, locust, are gradually added the 
cypress, persimmon, and ash ; lower down, the bay-tree, 
the magnolia, the palmetto. The forest regions of North 
America, when they assume their autumnal splendor, dis- 
play a magnificence of color altogether unknown in Eu- 
rope, and add a melancholy glory to the departing year. 


Such are the variations of temperature in the north 
Distribution of heat an ^ south direction. They are much less 
east and west. striking if the observations be made from 
the Atlantic coast westwardly across the eastern half of 
the continent. Thus New Jersey has a mean yearly tem- 
perature of 51°; Pennsylvania, 51°; Ohio, 51°; Indiana, 
54°; Illinois, 49°; Iowa, 48°, and Nebraska, 47°. 

The distribution of heat is comparatively symmetrical 
in the old settled states of the East, but it is very differ- 
ent in the West. In the valley of the Colorado the mean 
heat of summer rises to 90° ; across the mountains, on the 
coast, it is only 60°. In places but an insignificant dis- 
tance apart, there are the most violent contrasts. Thus, 
in the San Joaquin Valley, the mean heat for June, 1852, 
at 3 P.M., was 108.4°, while at Monterey, on the Pacific, 
150 miles distant, the corresponding mean heat was 63.2°, 
a difference of 45°. 

What must be the inevitable result in the Pacific region 
in the course of a few generations ! Climate irresistibly 
modifies men ; and here are the most extraordinary dif- 
ferences in very restricted areas. If climate impressions 
are at the bottom of the dreadful civil collision between 
the southern and northern sections of the Atlantic region 
through which we have so recently passed, what is the 
future that must be prognosticated for the inhabitants of 
the Pacific, where such impressions must be much more 
abrupt and much more profound ? 

In view of the serious political import of these facts, I 
make no apology for now entering on a brief digression, 
necessary for the clear understanding of the points pres- 
ently to be considered. 

Humboldt first directed scientific attention to isotherm- 
al lines, or lines of equal heat. There had 

Of isothermal lines. > . . ^ 

been a division of the surface of the earth 


delivered down from classical antiquity — an arrangement 
of zones — the torrid, the temperate, the frigid. Those 
terms are still usefully employed in their popular signif- 
icance, but the facts they were supposed to embody have 
no real occurrence in nature. Correctly speaking, no such 
zones exist. The heat of places does not correspond to 
their latitude. 

- Humboldt therefore proposed to connect together those 
points on the surface of each hemisphere of the earth 
of which the mean yearly temperature is the same. He 
gave to the lines so running from point to point the des- 
ignation of isothermal lines, or lines of equal heat. 

Thus, as an example, Vancouver's Island, Salt Lake 
City, Santa Fe in New Mexico, Fort Laramie, Council 
Bluffs, Rock Island, Pittsburg, New Haven, and Nan- 
tucket, have all a mean yearly temperature of 50°. A 
line drawn upon the map, running through these places, 
and continued through Europe and Asia, through places 
having the same annual temperature, is therefore known 
as the isothermal line of 50°. Each particular temper- 
ature has thus its own line, or rather lines, for there is 
one for the northern and one for the southern hemisphere, 
and indeed often more than one for each. 

Inspecting a map on which such lines are drawn, we 
are forcibly struck with their irregular course. Thus 
the isothermal of 50°, to which I have alluded, as seen in 
the map, page 57, commencing at Vancouver's Island, runs 
down southeastwardly, through more than 15° of latitude, 
to New Mexico ; it then passes almost due north for more 
than 5°, and strikes across the continent nearly due east 
to the Atlantic Ocean. The isothermal lines bear, there- 
fore, no relation to the parallels of latitude. 

, Subsequently this conception of graphically defining 
the distribution of heat was greatly enlarged ; and to 
maps setting forth the heat for the year, others depicting 


it for the successive seasons — spring, summer, autumn, 
and winter — and, indeed, for the successive months, were 
added. These maps have become of the utmost import- 
ance in all inquiries relating to climate and its effects. 
But isothermal maps, valuable as they may be, are still 
e M „ imperfect — imperfect not only on account of 

Imperfection of -F sr J 

isothermal maps. ^ ne inadequate number of observations on 
which they rest, but also in another far more important 
particular. They indicate only the intensity of the heat 
in specified places, but not its quantity. 

It is requisite to know not merely what is the particu- 
lar degree at which the thermometer will stand, but the 
absolute quantity of heat furnished to different places in 
a given period of time, as a year, a month, a day. 

If we consider the case of rain, any obscurity in these 
remarks will be removed. It is one thing to measure the 
mechanical force with which the rain has come down, it 
is another to measure the quantity which in a given time 
has been received. For heat we have accomplished what 
is the equivalent of the former — the latter remains to be 

A few pages hence these facts will be found to possess 
singular importance. Every plant requires a certain 
measure of heat for its complete development. An ex- 
tension of the cultivation of cotton or tobacco, sugar- 
cane or corn, into more northerly regions, depends on 
the principles here involved, and on the possibility of 
such extension social and political consequences of the 
greatest moment depend. 

From this digression I now return to the consideration 
of the climate of the Pacific coast, as manifested by its 
isothermal lines, directing the reader's attention to the 
map opposite. 

That map at once indicates a most extraordinary dif- 




ference between the Pacific and Atlantic re- 
Extraordinary dis- . -p. . , ,ii 
tributionofneatin gions. Duniigf the summer season the heat 

the Pacific region, y tm -i • 

is equally distributed m the former through 
fifteen hundred miles of latitude; the line of 60° runs 
parallel to the coast. How different would every thing 
in the old colonial settlements on the Atlantic have been 
had no difference existed between St. Joha's in New- 
foundland and St. Augustine in Florida ! Yet that is ac- 
tually the condition of things in the newly-settled states 
of the West. 

Moreover, we perceive that the general course of the 
isothermals in California and Oregon is more nearly north 
and south; in the Atlantic States they range west and 
east. Hence, in the former countries, there is a compres- 
sion of climates into closely juxtaposed and exceedingly 
narrow strands. If we desire to prognosticate the polit- 
ical results which must inevitably ensue from such a 
strange state of things, we must study Peruvian history ; 
for in Peru the same physical conditions occur. The 
uniformity of summer temperature, which, as we shall see 
in the next chapter, once existed over the whole North 
American continent, has now receded to a narrow strip 
upon the Pacific coast. The winter isothermal line of 
55°, beyond which the negro never voluntarily advances, 
runs to the south end of our Pacific coast, so that, bear- 
ing in mind the great waterless portion of the interior 
basin, which it skirts, it might have been anticipated that 
African slavery, without political protection, could never 
exist in the West. 

I have not space, nor, indeed, is it necessary, to continue 
this examination of the distribution of heat in North 
America. In place of that uniform temperature which 
zoological and botanical facts assure us once obtained all 
over the continent, we have now very great and intri- 
cate variations. There is the ever-frozen Arctic Ocean at 


the North, and the West India Sea, of which the mean 
annual temperature is 79.6°, at the south ; there is the 
Atlantic coast, with its inert topographical configuration 
on the east, and the Rocky Mountain region, where vertical 
altitudes and massive elevation control the seasons and 
dominate over the forms of life, on the west. It will take 
many years and the patient toil of many laborious men 
to map out all the climate-details of so wonderfully mod- 
ified a continent* 

In closing this imperfect description of it, I may be ex- 
cused if I cast a parting glance over its greater divisions, 
the Eastern and Southern Atlantic States, the Mississip- 
pi Valley, the territory of the Columbia River, the rich 
mining Pacific countries. So rapid has been the progress 
of the whole continent in material prosperity and civili- 
zation, that, like a garden of Adonis, it has blossomed on 
one day, and borne its fruit on the next. 

For a large portion of the year the Eastern States, even 
physical aspect of those bordering upon the ocean, are shut up 

the Eastern States. by g^ rjj^ j^ & murky ^ ^ ft 

desolate landscape of snow. Except the pine-trees and 
their evergreen kindred, the forests exchange their leaves 
for glittering and brittle icicles. The oak, birch, swamp- 
maple, willow, bend beneath their white load. More 
stunted plants, such as whortleberry bushes and the cran- 
berry vines, are buried out of sight. 

How different in the South ! When Ponce de Leon 
discovered Florida, its charming landscapes 

Physical aspect -, . , -. -. ' . . . , 

of the southern t and perpetual verdure seemed to give truth 
to the legend that in its dark and leafy ev- 
erglades was to be found a cleft in a rock, from which 
gushed a fountain — the Elixir of Life. The River of 
May was more beautiful than even his native Guadal- 
quivir. There were the palmetto, the cypress, the mag- 
nolia filling the air with its perfume. Gray Spanish 


moss hung down from oak and cedar, mulberry and ma- 
ple. The darkness of the orange-groves was relieved by 
jessamines with their golden burden, and the scarlet trum- 
pet-flower. Along the sedgy banks the yellow-crowned 
heron stalked intent on his nocturnal prey, the oriole 
hung a pensile nest from his favorite tulip-tree. There 
were bounding deer and flocks of wild turkeys in the 
woods; in the turbid streams the muddy and mail-clad 
alligator, half swimming, half sleeping, dozed in the noon- 
tide sun. So overpowering are the heats in the South, 
that there is a midday as well as a midnight silence. 
Animated nature reposes ; nor is it until the warmth de- 
clines and evening begins to approach that the multi- 
tudinous sounds of insect life recur, or again is heard the 
melancholy echoing murmur of the Carolina turtle-dove. 
The Mississippi River, fed by its vast tributaries, and 
grandly coursing its way through an alluvial tract often 
forty or fifty miles in breadth, its spring-flood below the 
junction of the Ohio rising sometimes to a height of fifty 
feet, its overflow on the western side covering an area 
from ten to fifty miles wide, throws into insignificance the 
far-famed Egyptian Nile. It rudely separates the two 
great industrial divisions of the United States from each 
other; separates them geographically, but 

Political import- , . -. , , . ,. mi 

ance of the missis- binds them together commercially. lhe 

sippi. ... 

mining regions of the West, the measureless 
wealth of which is at present only dimly discerned, can 
not be developed, and can not socially exist, without the 
fertile regions of the East. Of all the political facts as- 
certained during the civil war, none is of more importance 
than the military value of this river. Whoever is master 
of the Mississippi is lord of the continent. 

With some exceptions in Indiana, Illinois, and Wiscon- 
sin, all the continental surface between the Mississippi 
and the Atlantic is densely timbered, as are likewise 


Louisiana, Arkansas, and South Missouri. 

and of desert. 

Distribution of , , , 

timber, of prairie, It is a region oi incessant showers. .Beyond 

this, more westwardly, comes the prairie zone, 
with its luxuriant annual grasses; and still farther, bound- 
ed by a line parallel to the timber region, the rains cease. 
In this rainless tract the buffalo grass yields support to 
herds of aboriginal cattle. At the South Pass, the outlet 
to the Pacific Ocean, there is neither rain nor dew. It is 
computed that in the valley itself there are 1^ fifths of 
forest, 1| of prairie, and 2 fifths of desolate plains. Bound- 
less stores of iron and coal are ready to supply motive 
power to civilization ; and where sterility begins, the 
country is full of gold and silver. 

To the inestimable metal wealth of California and its 
The temtor 7 of tbe vicinage is added a golden circle from the 

Columbia River. ^ Q f ^ g^ J^ JJ^ fo ^ frozen re . 

gions of the North. It ranges through 12° of latitude. 
It likewise abounds in silver. In years not very distant, 
this territory of the Columbia River, which possesses 
200,000 square miles of grazing land, will be filled with 
flocks and herds. The magnificent water power of Ore- 
gon will manufacture woolen goods for the world. The 
territory of that state, and its appendages in the British 
Possessions, present an area equal to the United States 
east of the Mississippi River. In climate it is the Ger- 
many of America. The isothermal lines and deep shad- 
ings of the rain maps rise boldly into it. In the well- 
grassed and well-watered meadows of its eastern division 
herds of buffalo and horses roam ; they hide themselves 
all winter in the woodlands that skirt the savannas of 
the Upper Athabasca. All the grains and grasses of Eu- 
rope here grow in profusion. The American Teuton of 
the Northwest, a republican and monogamist by nature, 
as is the corresponding man in Europe, will in future 
generations have controversies with the American Tartar 


of the Great Sandy Plains, and with the American theo 
crat and polygamist of the Great Basin. 

The Pacific countries, rich in mineral and abounding in 
agricultural resources, must imitate the industrial art de- 
stroyed by the Spaniards in Peru. There the mountain 
slopes had become gardens, irrigated by gigantic canals 
and aqueducts ; and in strands of climate compressed 
closely together, an agriculture more varied than any 
where else in the world was prosecuted. Into the lap 
of San Francisco will be poured the riches of Asia, and 
from that port along the great interoceanic railroad will 
be borne the- ever-increasing commerce of the South Sea. 
With such a varied and splendid entourage — an impe- 
TheMissisei i ^al cordon of states — nothing can prevent 
lentSofl^an ^ ne Mississippi Valley from becoming, in less 
power. thsai j.*]^^ generations, the centre of human 




North America has been slowly constructed upon a central mass. During its grad- 
ual progress of geographical extension, numberless plants and animals in a well- 
marked order have appeared upon it and become extinct. From these facts it is 
manifest that any change in the aspect of nature and climate of a country will 
modify its inhabitants. 

Such is a general view of the topography and meteor- 
ology of the territory of the United States, a grand thea- 
tre of human life. We may now profitably turn to its 
past history, for it has slowly grown from a geological 
centre — it has been conquered and won from the sea. 

The study of that past history is not only full of sci- 

Thegraduaigrowth entific interest, but also— what we might not 
of North America, nave supposed — of political instruction too. 

For the facts now to be presented, we are indebted to 
the various geological surveys instituted by several of 
the states, to the explorations of individual geologists 
which no American can read without pride, and to the 
publications of the United States Coast Survey. . 

The oldest regions of North America extend from Lab- 
The oldest regions ra( lor through Canada in a southwesterly di- 
of the continent. rec ti n parallel to the present St. Lawrence, 
and on the north side of that river. Gaining the Lakes 
Huron and Superior, their course changes to the north- 
west, and continues to the Arctic Ocean. They are crys- 
talline rocks, rent, crumpled, and upturned. Subordinate 
areas of similar character, but of restricted extent, are else- 
where met with, as in Northern New York, on the south 
of Lake Superior, and here and there in the West. Neg- 
lecting the consideration of these, it may be understood 


that the main mass presented two southerly fronts, one 
looking to what is now the Atlantic, the other to the 
Pacific Ocean. These rocks offer such sparse and doubt- 
ful signs of life, that geologists commonly affirm there 
was neither plant nor animal upon them, nor any sound 
save that of the breakers at their base. Gray and grim 
this primeval germ of the continent lay in silence along 
the sea. 

Around these lifeless, these azoic rocks, strata were de- 
separattonofthe posited in succession, in some places the ac- 
iand from the sea. cumulation submerging perhaps by reason 
of its weight, in others being raised perhaps by the con- 
tinuing action of the force that had uplifted the original 
gray, germinal, and doubly fronted mass. In a lapse of 
time too prodigious to be appreciated, the whole conti- 
nent as it now is was separated from the sea, but so slow- 
ly that of the surrounding thousands of miles only a few 
inches were gained in the course of each century. 

But this continuous growth of the continent was by 
mu . . . no means homogeneous. Limestones, and 

The forty-six o i 

epochs. sandstones, and clay-beds follow one another 

in varied succession. Such transitions indicate that there, 
were changes occurring in surrounding circumstances. 
They mark off this history of continental development 
into epochs. Of such epochs not fewer than forty-six 
have been already recognized. The progress of science 
will doubtless add to this number, but the facts with 
which it is connected will remain unchanged. 

For the sake of perspicuity, these epochs have been 
grouped into more general divisions, appro- 

The same plan is • i i i • .l l .lI i i 

continued through- priately designated ages : these may be cnar- 

out eternity. , . V «j? • n t 

acterized either numerically or according to 
the predominant type of life they present ; thus, age of 
fishes, age of reptiles. For there has been an orderly suc- 
cession of animated beings ; types of life in a long series 


have disappeared, and have been replaced by others, 
which in their turn have become extinct. Not that they 
mark the culmination of a new creative idea abruptly 
introduced — a sudden and arbitrary thought of God — 
but, since the beginning of each age is dimly traced in 
the midst of a preceding, and its end imperceptibly fades 
away in the midst of a succeeding one, all, taken in the 
aggregate, indicate that they are the continuous issue 
of primordial and unchangeable law ; that in a necessary 
succession the aspect of nature has changed, physical 
events succeeding one another in an unavoidable way, 
those mutations having impressed their influence on all 
the forms of life. A portentous fact, on which the phi- 
losopher may well ponder — a fact, its consequences con- 
sidered, as we shall in due time see, of profound interest 
to the statesman. 

I am here speaking of vast lapses of time, which our 
finite faculties vainly try to grasp. In this 

Grandeur of this . ., , . n ■* .-, . 

persistence of de- irreversible operation of law — this contmu- 

sign. J- 

ous issue of inevitable events — this neces- 
sary succession in the aspect of nature — this undeviating 
persistence of plan, there is something majestic and sol- 
emn. The scheme that the Sovereign Creator has or- 
dained goes forward with grand severity in its evolve- 
ment. His primitive fiat is enough ; the machinery once 
in motion, He touches it no more. With Him, law once 
enacted is ever unchanging. In presence of this irresist- 
ible construction of continents and worlds, what is man 
or his finite measures of time — in that dread presence 
with whom a day is as a thousand years, a thousand 
years are only as a day ! 

Variations of climate and of the aspect of nature in 
North America have occasioned successions of life. Cli- 
mate determines the distribution of animals and plants ; 
climate controls the thoughts and actions of man. 
I.— E 

(35 THE FIRST AGE. [Sect. I. 

In the brief sketch I am about to give of the develop- 
ment of the American continent, I have not space for the 
consideration of the numerous epochs referred to, and 
must therefore limit myself to the greater groups — the 
ages. But, in truth, they furnish a sufficient opportunity 
for placing in a clear light the points it is desirable to 
bring into strong relief. 

Let us now look rapidly at the six ages, ascertaining 
in each instance how much the continent had grown, and 
especially what were the characteristics of its animals and 
plants. In the final result it will appear that the devel- 
opment was mainly to the southwest, and that there was 
an increasing elevation in the grade of living things. 

Of the First Age. 
At its close there had been added to the original con- 
tinent-nucleus deposits now recognized in 
andanimkisofthe Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, New 

first age. 7 7 rr . & ' 

York. A long and narrow peninsula lay 
somewhat to the east of the Appalachian region, acting 
as a partial breakwater to the Atlantic. 

TJie ripple marks, wave lines, and traces of ebbing and 
flowing tides show that these deposits were made in shal- 
low waters, on the north and also on the east. The 
thickness of the strata in the Appalachian region proves 
that already subsidence was occurring. There is reason 
to believe, judging from the habits of the animals that 
formed the limestones, that this subsidence did not ex- 
ceed half an inch a year, and yet it attained, during the 
Trenton period, nearly 6000 feet. At the close of the 
Niagara period there had been deposited along the Ap- 
palachians a thickness of 12,660 feet of rock. 

It is not to be understood, however, that these deposits 
only formed a mere fringe to the growing continent. 
They reached out, also, far under the sea — an accumula- 


tion of sands, clays, limestones. The dominant type of 
animal life was molluscous, and the climate was uniform 
through the whole range from north to south. 

Of the Second Age. 

The land expansion that had commenced in the former 
age was continued in this; its progress is well marked 
in Ohio, Wisconsin, and also both east and west. There 
were no large rivers. The strata are all marine, none of 
fresh- water origin. There are marks of vast oscillations 
on the continental level, resulting, in the Appalachian re- 
gion, in deposits of shales and sandstones of not less than 
fifteen thousand feet in thickness, as the accumulating 
land slowly went down. 

A great advance had taken place in organic nature. 
Land plants and fishes had been introduced. 

Territory, plants, ~ ^ r\ J* xl H n > 

and animals of the Of the former the first-comers were of two 

second age. . . 

groups, one exhibiting the lowest of flower- 
ing, and the other the highest of flowerless plants. There 
were no grasses. Of fishes there were also two groups, 
one being sharks, the other possessing features of a rep- 
tilian character. 

Of the Third Age. 

The general direction of the land-advance is recognized 

in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, 

and animals of the Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, portions 

third age. ' ' % ' 7 x 

of the Rocky Mountain slopes, Utah, North 
California, and Texas. The western development had 
led to the production of an interior sea, the American 
Mediterranean, an arm of the Gulf of Mexico. 

From the rank vegetation of the forests, jungles, and 
marshes, the great Appalachian coal-field, which now pre- 
sents a workable area of sixty thousand square miles, 
was formed. The Illinois and Missouri field is estimated 


to have the same extent. Simultaneously, in the far 
north and northeast, similar events were occurring, giv- 
ing rise to the Arctic coal-field and that of New Bruns- 
wick. The maximum thickness of the strata deposited 
during this age is estimated at nearly fifteen thousand 
feet. In the Appalachian region there had accumulated 
at the close of this age — counting in the preceding de- 
posits — a thickness of nearly seven miles. 

During the coal period, all the parts of the United States 
from Canada to Alabama, and from Western Iowa, Mis- 
souri, and Arkansas to Eastern Virginia, were above the 
water. It was not until its close that the Alleghanies were 
forced up; and as yet there were no Rocky Mountains. 
The Gulf of Mexico extended to the mouth of the Ohio ; 
the coral-building workers had not yet made Florida. 
These portions were never submerged again, but, as they 
kept sinking by their own weight, fresh surface-material 
was added, the accumulations being, therefore, by super- 

The coal area of Great Britain is estimated at 12,000 

The formation and square miles ; that of the United States at 
quantity of coai. 130j000 . that of tte British Provinces in 

America at 18,000. The beds themselves consist of al- 
ternations of layers of coal, shales, sandstones, limestones, 
etc. It is commonly estimated that there are fifty feet of 
rock to one of coal. In some celebrated instances the true 
coal has very great thickness. The Pittsburg vein was 8 
feet thick; the mammoth vein at Wilkesbarre 29^. In 
Nova Scotia there was one 22 J feet, and another 37^. In 
the Sydney coal-field seventy-six fossil coal forests occur 
in superposition, the total thickness of the coal-bearing 
strata in Nova Scotia being 14,570 feet. 

As is well known, all coal originated from the decay 
of plants beneath water. It is estimated that 100 lbs. 
of wood will yield 16 lbs. of anthracite, or 25 lbs. of bitu- 


urinous coal. From the necessary reduction of volume 
arising through compression, it is computed that a thick- 
ness of eight feet of vegetable material will make one 
foot of bituminous coal, and that twelve feet are required 
to make one of anthracite. In the Ohio coal-field there 
are fossil trunks of trees sixty feet long and three feet in 

A direct relation exists between the quantity of vege- 
table matter which can be produced in a given period 
of time and the quantity of light that produces it. It is 
not possible that such enormous quantities of coal as are 
here considered could be formed except in very long pe- 
riods of time. 

The plants thus decaying under water, and furnishing 
a succession of coal-seams as the land slowly subsided, 
were land plants. They constituted a forest vegetation. 
There was a sameness among them over areas of great ex- 
tent. The same genera occur in Europe and America, 
and many of the species are identical. Sigillaria, and 
Lepidodendra, and tree-ferns abound, but no palms or 
other endogens. The animals were all of low types. In 
the prodigious luxuriance of those grotesque forests there 
was not a bird. 

As to the climate — in the Arctic Ocean, as far north 
as Melville Straits, the winter temperature did not fall 
below 66°. Mackenzie's River flowed through verdant 
banks into a sea in which coral reefs — not icebergs, as in 
modern times — were forming. Within ten degrees of the 
pole there was the same mean temperature as in the re- 
gions of Texas. A moist, a heavy, a stifling, perhaps a 
comparatively stagnant atmosphere rested upon what in 
future times was to be British America and the United 
States. So great was the volume of carbonic acid in the 
air that no hot-blooded animal could live. The living 
beings were all necessarily slow-respiring and cold-blood- 

70 THE FOURTH AGE [Sect. I. 

ed. In the winterless years of that age the growth of 
plants continuously went on. There were no periods of 
torpor in the forests ; no trees could have annual rings. 

Of the Fourth Age. 

At the close of this age, large tracts had been added to 

the South and West. The coast-line passed 

and animals of the from the southeast of New York city across 

fourth age. . * t 

New Jersey to the Delaware River, which 
emptied into the Atlantic at Trenton. The region of 
Chesapeake Bay was under the sea. The sea-line ran 
within about sixty miles inland of the present coast, the 
distance increasing to one hundred in Georgia, and then, 
turning westwardly, it kept about two hundred miles 
from the Gulf shore in Alabama. The Alleghanies were 
about one hundred feet lower than at present. From 
Alabama the line made its way northward to the mouth 
of the Ohio, receiving that river. Tfre Gulf of Mexico, 
therefore, still protruded a great arm into the interior of 
the continent — a Mediterranean as it has been called — 
though slowly diminishing in size. The western shore 
of that gulf came up from Texas, making a deep bay to- 
ward the region of the Rocky Mountains ; those mount- 
ains themselves did not yet exist. It extended perhaps 
as far as the sources of the Yellowstone and Missouri. 
These rivers are among the later-formed American streams. 
They can not compete in age with the primaeval St. Law- 
rence and Hudson. The Pacific shore-line ran in a gen- 
eral manner parallel to the present coast, but at a distance 
of several hundred miles interiorly. 

The charts of the Coast Survey give reason to suppose 
that in the earlier periods of this age the coast-line of 
New York and New Jersey extended far out to sea. 
They show submerged outlines of the Bay of New York 
and of the course of the Hudson River. 


As respects the life of this age, it was ushered in by a 
total extinction of all pre-existing forms. The charac- 
teristic features of its animals are completely reptilian, 
due, undoubtedly, to the constitution of the atmosphere. 
predominance of There were reptiles in the sea, reptiles in the 
reptile life. rivers, reptiles on the land, reptiles in the air. 
In the midst of these base animal forms, as if struggling 
to gain existence, are inferior species of mammals and 

Of plants, it is to be remarked that the characteristic 
genera of the preceding — the Coal Age — having alto- 
gether disappeared, were replaced by cycads, and many 
new forms of conifers and ferns. Toward the close of the 
age, the first of the modern groups of angiosperms, such 
as the oak, maple, willow, dogwood, and fruit-trees, are 
observed. With these occur the first of the palms. The 
general aspect of the Botany of the age was this : the 
ferns had long previously passed their culmination, and 
were dying out; the conifers were in their dawn; the 
cycads attained their climax. It has, therefore, been some- 
times characterized as the Reptilian and Cycadean Age. 

For a long portion of it the climate was apparently 
uniform from the Arctic Ocean to the Mexican Gulf. 
There does not appear to have been any thing answering 
to climate zones. Judging from the facts presented by 
the coral reefs, the lowest temperature was 68°. Toward 
the close of the age there are indications of true climates, 
the evidence being a difference in the species of the north- 
ern and southern parts of the United States. Previously 
to this event there could have been nothing answering to 
the great ocean currents or to the trade winds. The ap- 
pearance of climates marks out a grand physical epoch in 
the history of the globe. 


Of the Fifth Age. 
In this age a well-marked extension of the continent 
continued along the Atlantic and the Gulf. 

Territory, plants, m-. . •-,-, . 

and animals of the 1 here was still a narrow sea-arm running 

fifth age. . ° 

to St. Louis, but it was gradually filling up. 
Florida was constructed by the industrious coral-workers. 
The great western mountain chains were upheaved. They 
are higher than all their predecessors because of the 
greater resistance of the thicker consolidated crust of the 
earth. By degrees, contemporaneous with the growth 
of the peninsula of Florida, the mouth of the Mississippi 
was carried from the mouth of the Ohio to near the pres- 
ent shore-line of the Gulf of Mexico. For, though Gen- 
eral Humphreys, in his Keport to the War Department 
(1861), shows that the bed of the river is not formed by 
recent deposits from its waters, but is in a stratum of blue 
clay, belonging to the eocene or to the cretaceous forma- 
tions — from this, and also from the form of the cross sec- 
tion of the river, inferring that the alleged arm of the 
Gulf of Mexico had no existence, the facts connected with 
the general geological development of the continent seem 
to admit of no other interpretation. The upward move- 
ment in the trans-Mississippi region along the Rocky 
chain amounted to nearly 7000 feet. This greatly devel- 
oped the Missouri, heretofore an insignificant stream, and 
extended its vast system of affiliated waters, such as the 
Yellowstone, the Platte, and the Kansas Rivers. While 
on the Gulf border the land-rise was not more than 100 
feet, at the mouth of the Ohio it was about 275 ; at Pike's 
Peak, 4500 ; at the Big-horn Mountains more than 6000 
feet ; in the Wind River chain, 6800. More westwardly, 
toward the Pacific, the elevation gradually declined. 

This rise of the land, previously spoken of as a corru- 
gation of the continent, must not, however, be regarded 


as a sudden movement, attended by great catastrophes. 
Every thing indicates that it was exceedingly gradual. 
North America was not the only scene of such a grand 
elevation. During the same age the Pyrenees, Alps, and 
Apennines emerged in Europe, the Himalayas in Asia, 
the Andes in South America. 

At the close of this age our continent may be consid- 
ered as having completed its extension in the easterly, 
westerly, and southerly directions, and had gained sub- 
stantially its present aspect. Its river system had also 
reached its present development — a remark likewise ap- 
plying to other continents. Africa had gained its Nile, 
Asia its Indus and Ganges, South America its Amazon. 

But toward the north there is well-marked evidence 
that in the closing period, the post tertiary, a depression 
took place. Along lower New England it amounted to 
30 feet ; it was somewhat more in Connecticut ; as much 
as 170 in Massachusetts ; from that to 200 in New Hamp- 
shire ; and on the north shore of Lake Superior, 330 feet. 
Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence, far inland, became 
arms of the sea. This depression was subsequently fol- 
lowed by elevation, and those regions brought to their 
present level. Geologists have surmised that this trans- 
fer of oscillation from the south to the north was due to 
the stiffening and strengthening of the crust in the for- 
mer by the accumulating masses, the latter becoming the 
weaker area, and less able to resist the pressures bearing 
upon it. 

The reptilian type, that had so strikingly marked the 
The predominance preceding age, now passed into insignificance. 
of mammals. rpj^ mamma i s? heretofore struggling to 

emerge, became predominant. A complete extermination 
of all preceding species occurred — even very many of the 
genera disappeared. Of mammals the herbivora predom- 
inated at first. On the sandy plains of North America 

74 THE PRESENT AGE. [Sect. I. 

there were at least three different species of camel (pro- 
camelus), and four of horse. Of the mammals, some, as 
the mastodon and elephant, reached a prodigious size. 
All over the world the culmination of this mammal type 
of life took place in the post tertiary period. There is a 
well-marked order of succession in the appearance of the 
different groups. Thus, among familiar examples, the 
bears, the dogs, the cats, the antelopes, the oxen, at long 
intervals arose, in the order in which they are here named. 
But the same destiny awaited these that had befallen 
their predecessors in previous ages. Of the fishes, rep- 
tiles, birds, and mammals of this age, not a single species 
now remains. All were exterminated. The species liv- 
ing with us are new-comers. 

The plants of the Mammalian Age approximated in 
species those of the present time — oaks, poplars, dog- 
woods, magnolias, figs, conifers, palms. The climate in- 
dicated is warm : the mean annual temperature of North 
America was about 60°. The decline of temperature in 
the centre of the continent was abrupt when compared 
with that of Europe, which passed in slow succession 
through a tropical and subtropical to a temperate condi- 
tion. This difference is probably correctly attributed to 
the contemporaneous increase of polar lands in the form- 
er continent. 

Of the Sixth, or Present Age. 
In many places the protrusion of the coast into the sea 
Temtor lants s ^ coir fcinues ; shoals are gradually coming 
SSrth^fS^^' to the surface ; at the mouths of rivers del- 
tas are still forming. In the interior, allu- 
vial deposits are still arranged by running waters and 
lakes ; peat bogs are produced by swamp growths. 

The increasing distinctness of climate during the age 
of mammals, and the diversities of topography, permitted 


a vast multiplication of the species of plants and animals. 
It is supposed that the existing species of the former are 
not fewer than 100,000, and of the latter 350,000. Al- 
ready the great mammals, have passed their culmination, 
and are in their decline. The climax for insects and birds 
is probably reached. Of insects, the latest comers are the 
Hymenoptera — bees and ants : they are endowed with 
instincts of a very high order. Even in insect life there 
has been an upward march of intelligence. 

As respects the distribution of man on the North Amer- 
The distribution of ican continent, the geographical centre at the 

man in North . p , -, . -i -r\ 

America. time oi the discovery by Ji/uropeans was on 

the Mexican plateau. The human population in that re- 
gion was variously estimated at from ten to fifteen mil- 
lions. It had attained a high state of civilization. Else- 
where over the continent were sparsely scattered wander- 
ing and savage tribes, insignificant in numbers and low 
in intellectual grade. They probably did not exceed 
300,000 souls — a mere fringe around the central Mexican 

That mass was connected with the dense population 
„ f . „, M . of South America through the isthmus that 

Past civilization in o 

central America. i m k s ^he two continents together, and which, 
though now in desolation, was once a scene of human ac- 
tivity. In Yucatan and elsewhere in that region, there 
are many ruined and mysterious cities, or rather the re- 
mains of cities — palaces, temples, public works, obelisks, 
sepulchral vaults, and subterraneous labyrinths. Such 
are Palenque, Uxmal, Chichen. Mr. Stephens, in his ad- 
mirable descriptions of these ruins, speaks of them as 
mournfully beautiful. There are grand and lowering 
temple walls, on the tops of which trees of an immense 
age are growing, and these by no means of the first gen- 
eration ; there are human figures cut in stone, grotesque 
and grim, and others whose plaintive, upturned faces ex- 



press human suffering and agony; there are apartments 
whose walls were once frescoed ; arched ceilings, and 
floors laid in cement. There are subterranean ponds, and 
immense and elaborate tanks, some of them containing 
forty or fifty separate wells. There are water deposits 
of artificial construction nearly 500 feet beneath the 
surface, to which access is had down inclined pathways, 
in some cases 1400 feet long, the precipitous points be- 
ing passed by ladders of osiers occasionally 80 feet in 
length. There are subterraneous chambers with dome- 
like ceilings of vast size ; they are made water-tight with 
cement, and were probably used as granaries. 

On the North American continent innumerable earth- 
works give evidence of the activity of races 

Extinct races of.,., , -,. i -r •» *-• • 

men and their that have long ago disappeared. In Missis- 

works. . & O rr 

sippi there are mounds covering six acres; 
in Missouri, inclosures of six hundred acres ; it has been 
affirmed that in Ohio there are more than ten thousand 
tumuli. On many of these are heavy forest growths; 
trees showing as many as eight hundred annual rings 
have been cut down, and these not original, but subse- 
quent growths. There has been much discussion as to 
the builders of these works. The scientific treatment of 
this topic can not, however, be undertaken until more ac- 
curate information is given respecting the progress and 
distribution of human life in South America. There the 

centre was in Peru. And though the Span- 
nr e s r t u centreofAmer e - ish conquerors affirmed that the Mexicans 

ican human life. i -r» • • n 

and Peruvians were ignorant of each other s 
existence, there can be no doubt that a line of civilized 
life stretched from the southern to the northern conti- 
nent through Central America, as the architectural ruins 
to which we have just referred abundantly prove. More- 
over, there can be no doubt that the Peruvian empire 
antedates that of Mexico. It is therefore not impossible 


that the progress of life on this continent may have been 
from the south to the north. 

North America has thus grown gradually from a geo- 
logical centre. One surface -belt after an- 

Survey of the topo- .-, -. -, i • i i ,i . • , • 

graphical changes other has been laid, down ; the continent, m 

of the continent. ' 

the lapse of ages, has been won from the 
sea; the maximum gains are to the south, souljiwest, 
west. The topographical plane has oscillated. In the 
Appalachian region there have been vast subsidences, in 
the Rocky Mountains vast elevations, and toward the 
Arctic Sea similar changes have occurred. These move- 
ments have not been of a paroxysmal kind, or attended 
by sudden catastrophes. Every thing proclaims that 
they were of slow execution — so slow that they might be 
spoken of as almost imperceptible. Geological revolu- 
tions are not ephemeral chances, but the inevitable effects 
of great and general causes. In the grandeur of the re- 
sult — subsidences of seven miles at one point, elevations 
of half that magnitude elsewhere — we recognize the al- 
most limitless periods of time consumed in these slow 
swayings of the crust of the earth upon its molten nu- 
cleus below. 

We see, too, how the most magnificent features of 
this great theatre of life have been gradually developed. 
The Rocky Mountains are, in a scientific sense, only of 
yesterday. The rivers were not all born at once ; they 
have an order of succession. These daughters of the sun 
and the sky came one after another, like children in a 
family. The primaeval St. Lawrence found its way to the 
sea ; the Hudson silently flowed countless ages before the 
Ohio was born. Still later came the Missouri, with its 
endless ramifications ; still later, that grand trunk, the 
Lower Mississippi, which now pursues its majestic course 
into the Gulf of Mexico. 


But not only have there been these gradual growths 
of a continent, these gentle but vast varia- 

Those changes im- . . . . -■ -,-, -, 

ply vast ciimate-va- tions in its mountains and valleys, these reg- 

ritition ^^ 

ulated productions of its rivers — topograph- 
ical alterations of supreme importance — there have also 
been surprising changes in the climate. We have seen 
that, during immeasurable ages, there was a common mean 
temperature over this continent. From the borders of 
the iceless Arctic Ocean, as far south as there was any 
land, there was a uniform warmth. The seasons, spring, 
summer, autumn, and winter, with their pleasant vicissi- 
tudes, had no existence. There were variations of light, 
but not of heat. The monotony of animal life was broken 
only by a grateful recurrence of. night and day. Not but 
that the astronomical causes of climates and seasons were 
in operation ; their effects were masked by the predom- 
inating intrinsic heat of the globe. 

There was a time when there was no Gulf Stream, no 
Labrador current. Such ocean currents are due to differ- 
ence of temperature in the tropical and polar regions. A 
sameness of temperature in different latitudes far apart 
implies a stagnant sea. With such profound differences 
in the physical phenomena of the ocean are indissolubly 
connected equally profound differences in the physical 
phenomena of the atmosphere. A stagnant air, with its 
deathlike tropical calms, was succeeded by an air of 
breezes and of winds, the prevalent force and prevalent 
direction of which changed with variations in the topog- 
raphy of the growing land 

I have represented the climate of North America as 
And the occurrence thus exhibiting through countless ages a con- 

of secular seasons, ^^ dedine# But we ^ not ^fllOUt CC - 

pious evidence that there were included in this grand 
diminution subordinate variations — secular seasons, as 
they may be termed — of which the so-called glacial epoch, 


or ice period, when much of the temperate zone was in- 
vaded by polar ice, is one — seasons not measured as ours 
are by the lapse of three or four months, but seasons 
whose measures are almost eternities. If we accept the 
opinion of some great modern astronomers, that these sub- 
ordinate secular epochs of maximum and minimum tem- 
perature are due to the periodical variation in the eccen- 
tricity of the earth's orbit, the origin and times of which 
are completely understood, their duration corresponds to 
scores of thousands of years. Is there not something un- 
speakably grand in vicissitudes on a scale so vast ? 
But, more than all — and this is a lesson of profound 
import to the reader of this book — with 
modified every these mutations in the land, and sea, and 

living thing. . 7 . > 

air, there was an orderly succession of life. 
Countless species of animals and plants in succession 
emerged; in succession they suffered extermination. 
From the azoic rocks each of the succeeding 46 epochs 
had its own Fauna and Flora, its characteristic animals 
and plants. In the times included by the Potsdam, Tren- 
ton, and Hudson periods, the first three of that long cat- 
alogue, not fewer than 850 species are known to have 
become extinct, and who shall say how many more that 
are unknown ? 

What was the cause of those variations and extinc- 
tions ? What was the cause of these wonderful modifi- 
cations in the realm of plants and animals % Can the 
same influences — everlasting and all-powerful as they 
thus seem to be — can they modify men ? 



From the succession of life on the American continent, described in the preceding 
chapter, and from the modifications exhibited by the American staple products, 
such as Indian corn, sugar, cotton, cereal grains, it is shown that climate com- 
pletely controls the various forms of life. 

By climate I understand the aggregate of all the cir- 
cumstances, natural and artificial, in which 

Climate defined. • 1 . m , n , _ 

we live, lne former are enumerated by 
Cabanis as chiefly, 1. Latitude; 2. Topographical ele- 
vation ; 3. Local inclination ; 4. Vicinity of mountains, 
sands, seas, lakes, rivers ; 5. Nature of the soil ; 6. Preva- 
lent winds ; 7. Ocean currents ; 8. Forests. More gener- 
ally, but perhaps with sufficient correctness, it may be 
stated that climate is determined by heat. 

Geologists estimate that nearly half a million of differ- 
ent species of animals have successively appeared and be- 
come extinct during the progress of life upon the globe. 
They also suppose that, in like manner, not less than fifty 
thousand different species of plants have passed away. 

To what shall we attribute these grand extermina- 

Efrects of variation tions ? Universal observation proves that 
of climate. f or ever y species of animal and plant there 

are certain conditions that suit its well-being best. Thus, 
of aquatic animals, there are some that delight to be near 
the surface of the sea ; others prefer its depths. Of 
plants there are some, such as the palm and banana, that 
reach their utmost luxuriance in the torrid zone ; others, 
as the pine, come to perfection in a colder region. 

Now if, through changes in the level of a country, salt 


waters should invade fresh, or fresh waters should invade 
salt — if, in like manner, the sea should deepen or become 
shallower, what must become of those tribes that hereto- 
fore have found a congenial residence in the places thus 
disturbed ? 

If, through meteorological or other natural changes, the 
temperature of the West India Islands should decline to 
that now prevailing in Oregon, or if, conversely, the tem- 
perature of Oregon should rise to that of the West Indies, 
what, in the one case, would become of the palms ? what, 
in the other, of the pines ? 

Under such circumstances two events only are possi- 
ble. The species whose place of abode has been dis- 
turbed may undergo such modifications as to come into 
harmony with the changed conditions ; if that be impos- 
sible, it must suffer extermination. 

Thus, in the winter of 1835, the cold in the Southern 
States was so severe that tropical plants which had been 
flourishing more than half a century were cut off. In 
1766 a similar season had destroyed all tropical fruits, ex- 
cept oranges, in Northern Florida. 

But is there any evidence that an organic being is so 
plastic as to admit of modification ? or must we conclude 
that its structure can not be varied ? 

Is it not the amusement of the horticulturist to pro- 
duce such changes in plants ? He skillfully 

Possibility of arti- -. „ ° • j -i i n • 

fidaiiy modifying turns single flowers into double ones ; varies 

living beings. t ° 7 

their color, their size. He produces all our 
prized varieties of garden and orchard fruits from those 
that were useless when wild. 

The agriculturist does the same with animals. He 
modifies his sheep, his horses, his oxen, his dogs, his birds, 
to suit the purposes he has in view. His predecessors in 
the old times commenced modifying the wild individuals 
of these species. Between the forms they began with 
I— P 


and the forms he has arrived at, there is a great difference. 
The Shetland pony and the race-horse came from one 
original stock. The terrier, the greyhound, the mastiff 
had a common parentage. 

But it is sometimes said that these modifications are 
superficial and ephemeral ; they are, as it were, only skin 
deep ; they do not prove that species are capable of trans- 
mutation. It is also said, Are not the animals sculptured 
or painted by the Egyptians three or four thousand years 
ago the same that we are familiar with now % But that 
proves no more than that the climate of Egypt has not 
recently changed. Cuvier asserted the permanence of 
species for two reasons : 1st. The unchanged condition of 
the oldest known ; 2d. The resistance of existing species 
to change. 

Physiologically, however, the problem involved in these 
considerations is not one of quantity, but of quality. The 
point is, not how much or how far an organic type can 
change, but whether it can change at all. The possibil- 
ity of modification, be it ever so small, once established, 
the extent to which it may go will obviously depend on 
the energy of the disturbing force, and the conditions of 
its application. 

Pre-eminent among those conditions is time. As a 

Effect of gradual s P rin g tnat would inevitably snap if its ends 
disturbance. were abruptly brought together may be suc- 
cessfully bent if the force be more gently, more gradually 
applied, so a being that would at once be exterminated 
by too violent, too sudden a disturbance, may gradually 
accommodate itself to a new order of things, if that order 
come on by imperceptible degrees. 

There was a time when upon what was the North 
American continent there were none but salt waters. By 
degrees, little rills that were fresh made their appearance ; 
they grew with the growth of the land into larger streams. 


In the course of ages a grand river and lake system was 
completed. At first, fresh- water fishes w^ere an impossi- 
bility ; finally, they might abound. 

There was a time — it was of long duration — in which a 
uniform tropical temperature obtained from the shores of 
the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. There was no 
succession of seasons ; it was an unending summer. By 
slow degrees, as the temperature went down, winter set- 
tled at the pole. At first, those animals and plants that 
can live only in a cool, bracing air, were an impossibility ; 
the sultry landscape was covered with a torrid foliage. 
At last the white bear was seen on the iceberg, and the 
reindeer moss grew underneath the snow. 

Chladni has shown that if some sand be scattered on 
. , a drum, or other elastic surface, whenever a 

Organic forms an- " ' 

conditioned suitable sound is made, the dry grains start 
ange with them. ^ an( j^ entering on a choral dance, sponta- 
neously arrange themselves in symmetrical and exquisite- 
ly perfect geometrical forms. If disturbed by another 
sound, they forthwith rearrange themselves in some other 
beautiful figure, and, answering to the voice that speaks 
to them, form after form in wonderful perfection comes 
forth. Thus, also, do organic beings answer to the voice 
of Nature, sympathetically responding to her call. 

The plants and animals pertaining to those six periods 
that have passed under consideration in the last chapter 
were simply those that could under the prevailing con- 
ditions exist. There were impossibilities in the way of 
others. It was not possible, for instance, that hot-blooded 
animals could live before the coal deposits had been sep- 
arated from the air. It was not possible that the pri- 
maeval vegetation should exist after that great event. 

If the Genii of the successive geological ages could 
Ali ... .. . have found a voice, this is what they, one 

All things that are ' J * 

possible exist. an( j a ri ^ wou id have proclaimed — an ominous 


declaration, the full meaning of which we only perceive 
when we ponder deeply upon it. 

What can be, is. 

Whatever was possible was present. The vital force 
that " sleeps in the stone, dreams in the animal, wakes in 
man," was pressing forward to produce new organisms. 
All nature is ever ready to burst into life. 

A continuous variation in the progress of the American 
continent implied a continuous change in organic life. 
One group culminated after another — culminated when 
the surrounding conditions were most favorable to its 
type. Then, as those conditions became less and less 
consonant with it, it passed through stages of decline; 
when they became utterly discordant, it underwent ex- 

From that extermination there was but one escape. It 
was by transformation. But transformation could not 
take place at random. Its possible direction was prede- 
termined, and depended on past events. The prophetic, 
or foreshadowing types, as they are called by naturalists, 
that were being incessantly introduced, are illustrations 
of this. By such types we mean those which embrace 
along with the characteristics of the group to which they 
pertain, others of another group not yet in existence. 
They not only indicate that a passage to a new form is 
about to be made, they also foretell what the completed 
result is about to be. 

What has been said respecting the North American con- 
tinent applies to the whole globe. Through 

Illustrated by or- , A A , , . ° _. , . ° i 

ganic life an over slow secular changes m its climate, its at- 

the world. p 

mosphere, its sea, it outgrew tribes, species, 
genera of life. So irresistible was the progress, so vast 
the changes, that not a single species has lived through- 
out the whole time ; few have endured through so little 
as two successive out of forty-six recognized epochs. At 


its first appearance the new-comer was rarely at the bot- 
tom of the scale of the group to which it belonged, fre- 
quently it was nearer to the middle — then forthwith a 
descent to those that were lower, and an ascent to those 
that were higher of the same type of construction ensued 
— an exhibition of all possible diversities. 

Could we have a more imposing proof of the absolute 
control of natural influences over the world of life than 
that thus grandly furnished to us by our own continent ? 
No species has yet come into existence that could with- 
stand the dominating influence of climate, and of changes 
in the physical condition of its place of abode. 

Of the cultivated staple plants of the United States, 
one of the most valuable is maize, or Indian corn. 

This plant is originally a tropical grass of singularly 

elastic disposition. In certain localities of 

fications of in- the South it attains a height of more than a 

dian corn. t . ° 

dozen feet, elsewhere it is dwarfed to a stat- 
ure of two. The color of its grain varies — it may be 
chocolate -tinted, red, yellow, or white. In some places 
the buttery and bland oil contained in its seed rises to 
twelve per cent, of the seed- weight ; in others it dimin- 
ishes to four. One form of it abounds in sugar, another 
contains a less amount. There are varieties that require 
a long season to ripen their grain, in others it comes to 
perfection in eight or ten weeks. 

When maize is caused to grow in a region of high and 
steady temperature, it tends to revert to its original form 
of a succulent grass. In the Pacific valleys opening to 
the sea it reaches its full average height, but the stalk is 
slender, and there is little disposition to mature the seed. 
It gains its maximum productive value in the Atlantic 
States above latitude 41°. Though the height attained 
is less, and the plant more insignificant in appearance 


than in the South, the seed -yield is said to be four or 
five times as heavy. 

Climate differences therefore produce singular trans- 
formations in this plant, and give rise to many varieties 
of it. A rapid increase of temperature compresses its 
growth into a smaller number of days, and greatly in- 
creases its value by increasing its nutritive yield. The 
sudden access of heat needful for this favorable result 
must, however, be of a tropical character. The north- 
ward limit at which it will grow is marked by the iso- 
thermal of 67° for July. For that reason it can not be 
brought to perfection in England, nor indeed in Cali- 

Analogous to maize in many of its habitudes is the 
ciimate-modifica- sugar-cane, though thus far inferior in the 
tions of sugar-cane. ran g e of its modification. Doubtless by care 
and patience its cultivation may be carried much farther 
to the north than is at present the case; its period of 
growth has already been compressed from the sixteen 
months necessary in Venezuela, to the ten months requi- 
site in Louisiana. The tropical habits of the plant may 
therefore be broken up without injury to its economical 

But of these staple plants cotton displays the most 
ciimate-modinca- valuable disposition to modification. In its 
tions of cotton. na tive tropical home it is a perennial tree; 
at its extreme limit of northerly growth, an annual her- 
baceous plant. Without difficulty it passes from the 
woody to the herbaceous, or from the herbaceous back 
again to the woody form as the climate changes. In the 
steady tropical heats of India it is with difficulty detain- 
ed in the herbaceous state. The annual fibre produce on 
which its economical value depends is greater up to a 
certain point the more moderate the temperature, and in 
this respect, therefore, it resembles maize, which reaches 


a maximum value near the cold limit of its growth. To 
produce the most perfect staple, such as that known as 
the Sea Island, the humidity supplied must be moderate 
and uniform. For its successful cultivation, its growth 
must take place between the frosts of spring and those 
of autumn; and hence, the farther it is carried to the north, 
the more hastily must it be compelled to run through its 
cycle of life. This compulsory compression as to time is 
the cause of a diminution in size. 

The small cereal grains of the United States — wheat, 
rye, etc. — though all perhaps remotely of 

Climate -modi- * '. . . . . -. j_i . 1 Ti 

^cations of ce- Asiatic origin, nave come to us through Eu- 
rope, and therefore bear with them the cli- 
mate impress of that continent. It is for this reason that 
the Pacific coast suits them so much better than the At- 
lantic. No country in the world is superior to California 
in the production of wheat. With most of these grains, 
as with cotton and corn, the maximum value is near the 
cold limit of their growth, and all of them readily submit 
to climate-modification. 

The principles involved in producing modification are, 
perhaps, best seen from the consideration of a special ex- 
ample. If, therefore, we take the case of barley, we find 
that if the mean temperature sinks below 36|°, or rises 
above 7l|°, the plant will no longer succeed. There are, 
therefore, two limits, a low and a high one, within which 
its growth must take place. In Egypt, on the banks of 
the Nile, barley is sown at the end of November, and har- 
vested at the end of February; it runs through its entire 

illustration in the c y cle of life > therefore, in about 90 days. At 
case of barley. Santa Fe de Bogota, the length between seed- 
time and harvest is 122 days; in other localities it is 
known to be as long as 168 days. The plant requires a 
certain quantity of heat for its development, and will 
come to perfection whether that heat is distributed over 


a longer or shorter period of time ; but, with such changes 
in the mode of application of the heat, transformation oc- 
curs, and a new variety of the plant arises. 

Such is the effect of heat. It follows, therefore, that 

Each zone of nfe eve J7 ? one of growth has two sides, one of 
has two sides, which is hot, the other cold, and beyond these 
the plant does not transgress. In the interior of the zone 
the plants are not all alike ; but modified varieties are ar- 
ranged in bands, running parallel with the warm and the 
cool side. 

Heat, light, humidity, and the chemical composition of 
the soil, are the leading conditions product- 
plants are modified ive of plant modification. Of the three form- 
in America. . . x 

er, it is not only the absolute amount, but the 
mode of distribution that is effective. Thus, in the At- 
lantic region of the United States, the special climate con- 
dition is a rapid increase of heat and moisture for the 
summer — there is no true spring. A European plant, 
which would develop in its native home more gradually, 
is here pushed precipitantly forward. Even in the for- 
ests the leafing takes place abruptly. And hence it is 
that any such stranger imported here must undergo mod- 



In the same manner that climate affects plants, it likewise affects human beings, 
producing modified men. It controls their complexion, their bodily construction, 
their duration of life, their actions, their thoughts. It has given rise in the At- 
lantic region to two distinctly marked populations; and in the Pacific region 
will hereafter originate many others, the counterparts of nations now occurring 
in Asia. 

Not without special intention have I in this History 
of the Civil War drawn rny reader into a 

Climate acts on -.. • .-•. iii , i j j 

man as powerfully digression on things that seem to relate to 
the peaceful affairs of Rural Economy, and 
considered how corn and sugar, cotton and wheat, and 
grasses, brought from other regions, undergo modification 
here. Much more, abounding in interest, might have 
been said, but what has been offered is enough. 

There is nothing privileged in Nature. High or low, 
all must submit to an impartial, an unchangeable rule. 

If grasses, and grains, and all vegetable productions of 
other countries can not be perpetuated in America with- 
out undergoing modification, neither can men of foreign 

Brought here, both begin slowly to change. The hab- 
itudes that have been impressed upon them 

Man changes with • ,-1 • , • i ■%• •;-! ji n 

his place of rest- m their native place linger with tnem tor a 

dence. x ° 

time, but modification beginning, goes on by 
imperceptible degrees, until, in a few generations, they 
are no longer what they were. They "come at length 
into physiological accordance with their new abodes, re- 


taining those only of their former special peculiarities that 
are consistent therewith. 

The uncivilized aboriginal American Indians illustrate 
the physiological influence of heat. The Es- 

Illustration in the . , ,t ,i i j i T7\ • ±. 

caseoftheAmeri- qurmaux at the north, and the Jbuegians at 

can Indians. x .. -i • i i • n i i * 

the south, are light, the tint ot the native 
races deepening as the equator is approached. This grad- 
ual darkening of the complexion is much more strongly 
marked in South than in North America — New Granada, 
Venezuela, and Guiana being the hotter parts of the con- 
tinent. For a similar reason, it is more strongly marked 
on the Pacific than on the Atlantic slope. It is sufficient 
to compare Catlin's portraits of the Indians east of the 
Rocky Mountains with those of the west, as figured in the 
Voyage Pittoresque of Choris, to appreciate how great a 
difference exists. But the olive-black Indians of the Pa- 
cific slope, though their lips are thick and their noses flat, 
have lank and not woolly hair. In South America, the 
so-called red race, as we have just observed, is deeper in 
complexion as we pass from Terra del Fuego northward 
toward the line. The Chilians are darker than the Fu- 
egians, the Peruvian^ are darker than the Chilians. As 
the topographical construction of that continent would 
lead us to infer, there is an analogous distribution from 
east to west, crossing the preceding at right angles. The 
Inca race, who inhabit the plateaux of the Andes, because 
of the comparative elevation and coldness of those regions, 
are lighter than corresponds to the latitude. But, passing 
from these to the east, the Brazilio-Guarani are darker as 
we approach the Atlantic Ocean, their tint changing in 
correspondence to the isothermal lines. It may with 
truth be said that the intervention of the Gulf of Mexico 
and the Caribbean Sea has lightened the complexion of 
the aboriginal tribes of North and South America. 
The influence of physical agents is not limited to the 


establishment of variations in the complex- 

Physical causes af- . « -. -, . .., -r^,^ *. . • 1 • 

feet the construe- ion oi the skm. M. D Orbigny, m his re- 

tion of man. , /» t -r xt 

port of the dissections of the Inca Indians 
who inhabit the plateaux of the Andes, comprized be- 
tween the limits of 7500 and 15,000 feet above the level 
of the sea, shows that the remarkable disparity between 
the length of their trunk and that of other Americans 
depends altogether on the extraordinary disproportion 
of the chest consequent upon a corresponding develop- 
ment of their lungs. The necessities of life require that 
a given weight of air shall be supplied to the system of 
man in a given period of time. These Indians, breathing 
an atmosphere which, by reason of the altitude of their 
place of abode, is exceedingly rarefied, require a greater 
volume of air to make up the necessary weight. Increased 
capacity in the lungs is demanded, and, consequently, in- 
creased size of the chest. In the dissections that were 
made at the hospital of the city of La Paz, upward of 
11,000 feet above the level of the ocean, of Indians from 
the populous plateaux still more elevated, it was ascer- 
tained that the cells of the lungs were not only very 
much more numerous, but likewise larger than in the case 
of individuals living near the level of the sea. The chest 
had become out of harmony with the length of the limbs, 
which remained the same as under ordinary circum- 

Climate and place of abode, therefore, not only in a su- 
perficial, but also in a profound manner, can change the 
constitution and construction of man. 

Such physical agents, continuing their unceasing oper- 
Human equilibrium ation for many centuries, bring the system 
with climate. f man into what may be termed a harmony 
with themselves. When that is attained a new race has 

But such a new race will only retain the complexion 


and features it has acquired as long as the circumstances 
under which it is living are unchanged. If they vary, it, 
like the sand-grains of Chladni, commences to do so too, 
slowly answering by its modifications to their modifica- 

Slowly — for if the progress in the physical conditions 
be too rapid, the physiological change can not keep pace 
with it — discordancy arises ; enfeeblement, perhaps even 
extermination, follows. 

The Spaniards who attempted the colonization of the 

Southern Atlantic States, the French who 

race as an historical settled along the St. Lawrence and threaded 

Glt?Hl£Ilt ^^ 

the Mississippi Valley, the English who held 
the intermediate regions, furnish illustrations of men who, 
in the lapse of many centuries, had undergone so much 
modification in Europe as to have become ethnically dis- 
tinct. Each of these nations had its own physiological 
characteristics ; each, also, for such is the necessary conse- 
quence, had its own modes of thought. 

In the time that intervenes between the first coming 
of such diverse races into a new country and their attain- 
ing a physiological harmony with it, they will manifest, 
though in a declining manner, the attributes they had for- 
merly acquired, and of those attributes such as are not 
discordant with the new state will continue. If he were 
transplanted suddenly to a cold abode, the Spaniard 
would not forget his superstition. The influence of race 
is therefore felt in newly-colonized countries, and in the 
discussion of political problems relating to them two con- 
ditions must ever be kept in view — the persistent influ- 
ence of climate, and the ephemeral influence of race. 

Many illustrations might be offered of the influence of 
Nature over modes of thought. The January isothermal 
line of 41° marks out in a general manner the final 


boundary between the Catholic and Protestant peoples 
of Europe. To those living on the south of it an embel- 
lishment of worship is acceptable ; to those on the north, 
a more simple or austere form. The recognition of such 
facts led Bodin, in his great work, " De Re- 
publica," three hundred years ago, to de- 
clare that government must be adapted to climate ; that 
force is best resorted to for northern nations, reason for 
the middle, and superstition for the southern. Carrying 
out the principles involved in these conclusions, he insist- 
ed that liberty of conscience ought to be granted to sec- 
tarians, and freedom of thought to all. 

Applying the foregoing principles to the case of the 
Atlantic region of the American republic, and recollecting 
that the mean annual temperature of Maine, on the north, 
is 42°, while that of Florida, on the south, is 75°, and that 
New Jersey, at the east, has a mean annual temperature 
of 51°, while Nebraska, at the west, is 47°, it follows that 
the differences of climate north and south are very much 
greater than those east and west. Between Maine and 
Florida the difference is 33° ; between New Jersey and 
Nebraska only 4°. 

In the republic, therefore, the type variations due to 
. f . , this natural cause will be most strongly 

Type variations of p J 

Sh n tathe a ?e d pub- marked in the north and south direction. 
East and west the differences are insignifi- 
cant. Supposing the whole community at rest, and time 
sufficient for its coming into harmony with the climate 
afforded, there would eventually be found strands of pop- 
ulation arranged across the Atlantic region of the conti- 
nent almost in parallel zones. The antagonism of habit 
and thought must be between the north and the south ; 
there will be harmony between the east and the west. 
If we collect into groups those states of which the 


Grouping of the m ean animal temperature is below 50°, and 
states. those of which the mean annual temperature 

is above 60°, this antagonism will be correctly recognized. 
In the former group we shall find Maine, New Hamp- 
shire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, 
New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, 
Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska. In the latter are arranged 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Flor- 
ida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas. 

But this antagonism is based upon the motionless con- 
dition of the community. It is disturbed at once by mi- 
gration, and the more thoroughly the more active the lo- 
comotion. If by any means an incessant and complete 
intermingling could be accomplished, it would not exist 
at all. 

Moreover, by the creation of artificial climates, as will 
be presently explained, the Northern man makes his phys- 
ical condition approach that of the Southern. By his va- 
rious resorts to clothing, food, habitation, fire, he raises 
the mean annual temperature of his abode. 

The political antagonism between the North and the 
South results, therefore, from the uncompensated residue. 
It is by no means so great as it might be. Civilized life 
diminishes it. / 

At the breaking out of the civil war, of the eight mil- 
Disturbin effect of li° ns of white inhabitants of the slave states, 
locomotion. probably not two hundred thousand had 

ever been in the North, and they, at the best, had only 
been transient visitors. Of the poor whites hardly any 
had made that journey. Of Northern families settled in 
the South the number was very insignificant. Legisla- 
tion, such as it was in the slave states, repelled that kind 
of immigration. Southern society regarded the intruder 
with suspicion, impatience, dislike. In each section inter- 
communication with the other became yearly more re- 


strained. The catastrophe that ensued would not have 
occurred had a wise legislation promoted intercourse. 

In this we see an illustration of that profound remark 
which Quetelet makes respecting malefactors in Europe : 
" Society prepares the crime, the culprit only executes it." 

There is, therefore, a tendency to disintegration or dis- 
ruption of the republic arising; from climate. 

Type variations -t ±0 

tton 0? the rlpuS- Communities separated by many degrees of 
uc ' latitude become in the course of time an- 

tagonistic in their feelings and thoughts. 

This antagonism is more dangerous when either or each 
of the opposing communities is consolidated by some com- 
mon industrial bond, a condition not unfrequently arising 
in the very circumstances of the case. Thus the cultiva- 
tion of cotton gives to the Gulf communities 
tends to think and a united, it might be said, almost a single 

act alike. . \ & . •IT • • 

interest, increasing their predisposition to 
think and act as one man. 

If, again, there be any common political bond, such, for 
instance, as the institution of slavery, it, too, will act in 
the same way. But the growth of cotton and the perpet- 
uation of slavery were both connected with the cause that 
was establishing physiological distinction in the Gulf 
communities, that is to say, with climate. 

Antagonisms thus re-enforced can readily find political 
expression ; and when in action, will manifest unanimity 
and surprising power, as was shown by the cotton states 
in the civil war. 

Such is the condition of things between the two sec- 
Processofaccii- tions north and south of the Atlantic region. 
NXaSi £ the Some very interesting facts are developed if 
we trace the progress of each section in the 
act of acclimatization, for they proceed to a different ex- 
tent, the South having the greater departure from the 
typical standard of Western Europe to make. 


A discussion of the observations published by the Sta- 
tistical Bureau of the United States Sanitary Commission 
will show in what manner that progress of acclimatization 
in the two cases proceeds. Taking ten thousand white 
men of eighteen years of age, it will be found that in the 
slave states one half are dead before the age of thirty- 
seven is attained ; in the free states, that diminution is not 
reached until nearly forty-three. The waste of life in the 
former is, therefore, excessively rapid ; it keeps increasing 
until the thirty-second year is attained, when it reaches its 
maximum. At that epoch the Southern population has 
lost of its original number upward of fifteen hundred 
more than the Northern. Subsequently the death-rate of 
the North gains relatively upon the death-rate of the 
South, so that by the time the fiftieth year is attained, 
the difference between the two is less than four hundred 
individuals in favor of the North. 

It is greatly to be regretted that we have not the nec- 
essary observations for determining the life-curves of the 
strands of population on the successive isothermal lines. 
One of the most important services that can be rendered 
to scientific medicine is such a determination for the two 
annual isothermals of 69° and 50°. Undoubtedly it would 
present the differences I am here speaking of in a very 
impressive manner. When we reflect that the military 
propensity of individual man is at its maximum in his 
eighteenth year, that propensity being equally displayed 
toward each of the three arms of the service — infantry, 
cavalry, and artillery, and having no exception in the free 
states save in New York and Pennsylvania, in which the 
existence of great cities postpones the maximum to the 
twenty-first year, it is obvious that the military strength 
of the North must, from mere physical causes, preponder- 
ate over that of the South, since for every ten thousand 
men capable of entering on military life at eighteen, there 


will be at its close, or when forty-five years are attained, 
a balance in favor of the North of more than eight hund- 
red men. 

This high death-rate of the South, which I thus without 
Death-rate in the hesitation impute to climate influences, illus- 
North and south. trates t k e difliculty with which men of Eu- 
ropean origin become acclimatized, or attain a concord- 
ance with the country into which they have come. The 
same thing is shown, if possible, in a still more striking 
manner, when we compare the population of the entire 
United States, North and South, with those of England 
and France. In a million of people at the epoch 1830, 
the births in the United States were nearly double what 
they were in France, this depending, I presume, on the 
general material prosperity of the country, which gives 
rise to precocious marriages. But the population of the 
United States, still partially retaining its European race- 
peculiarities, and indeed having, so far as the North is 
concerned, those peculiarities continually re-enforced by 
immigration, approaches to physiological correspondence 
with the new climate it is inhabiting in such a difficult 
manner, that the waste of life is enormous. With such a 
vast superiority in births, the individuals attaining their 
twenty-sixth year had sunk down to the standard for 
France ; nay, more, the number of those that could reach 
the forty-ninth year was only half of what it was in 

The amount of acclimatization accomplished in a sin- 
gle generation, or thirty years, is decisively 

Typical progress of -, . . •, TT .. n . . 

the American pop- shown on comparing the United fetates cen- 

1 1 1 1 1 1 on ^^ 

sus of 1830 with that of 1860 ; the waste of 
infant and adolescent life had greatly diminished, and the 
life of the whole American people had made no insignifi- 
cant approach toward the typical standard. This, of 
course, is not attributable to any corresponding improve- 
L— G 


raent in the medical art, but to the physiological impres- 
sion that had been made upon the whole community. It 
would have been still more strongly marked had it not 
been for the adverse influence of immigration. 

The population of France has attained much more 
comparison of the nearl y to tne theoretical type of life than 
thTof FTaiTce^En- either that of England or America. But in 
fc^an'cout' the thirty years ending in 1860, the United 
States had made a rapid advance. The in- 
fant mortality in France is comparatively very low ; the 
total population exhibits a very great gain over that of 
England at all ages subsequently to twenty-eight years. 

In the equation (N=a sin n h n 0) indicated by the 
Statistical Bureau of the Sanitary Commission, there are 
two constants (Jc and 0) characteristic of each particular 
population under examination. The constituent elements 
entering into these constants represent, therefore, many 
different conditions, such as religious influence, the value 
of practical medicine, and, above all, climate. As to re- 
ligious influence, it manifestly operates in a signal man- 
ner, inducing sobriety, temperance, and a tendency to 
tranquillity of life. In like manner, the value of practical 
medicine is expressed in its directly curative results and 
consequent saving of life. Doubtless before long the 
mathematical value of these, and other such elements, 
will be much more clearly understood. 

Of these two constants (Jc and 0) the value has 
changed in the last four decennial census examinations 
as follows 




1830 . . , 

. . 0.9918 ' 


1840 . . 

. . 0.9921 


1850 . . , 

. . 0.9932 


1860 . . 

. . . 0.9941 




" The curious fact thus is evident that our population 
has been, during the last forty years or more, gradually 
assimilating itself to the normal type (&=1)." 

It is instructive to compare this with England and 




1851 0.9957 1°4702 

1861 0.9962 1°4316 

Here again the values of h are increasing, and those of 
In Prussia, 


1852 0.9960 


values closely approaching those for England and Wales 
for the same epoch. 
In France, 




1851 . . 

. . 1.0000 


1856 . . 

. . 1.0000 


1861 . . 

, . . 1.0000 


The French population has therefore developed itself 

very closely to the normal type, and on comparing the 

tables of that population, deduced from its census returns, 

with the theoretical values indicated by computation, the 

chief discrepancies are, 

For the ages exceeding 50 in the census of 1851 
" " " 55 " " 1856 



and these are probably correctly attributed to the social 
condition of France during the Republic, and up to the 
time when order was restored by Napoleon, the period 
of birth of this portion of the population. 


In a general manner, life-insurance tables prove that 
people live longer now than they did a century ago. The 
rich, and those who are surrounded with the comforts of 
life, have greater longevity than the poor. In France the 
value of life has doubled since the 14th century. It has 
gained one third since 1781. 

In concluding this comparison of the inhabitants of the 
Atlantic region of the United States, I make the follow- 
ing extract from my work on the Civil Policy of America. 

"When a nation emigrates to a new country, the climate 
„ . . fi . of which differs from that of the country 

Contrast of charac- # J 

souKrodSced by ^ nas ^ e % ft slowly passes through modifi- 
cimate. cations, attempting, as it were, to adapt it- 

self to the changed circumstances under which it has now 
to live. Many generations may be consumed before a 
complete correspondence between its physiological condi- 
tion and the climate to which it is exposed is attained. 

" Its different classes will not make this movement with 
equal facility. Some will accomplish it more quickly, 
others more slowly. Even when an equilibrium has been 
reached as completely as possible, there will still be dis- 
'tinct orders plainly enough perceptible among them. 
These orders depend on a difference in individual intel- 
lectual development. 

"Uniformity of climate makes people homogeneous; 
they will necessarily think alike, and inevitably act alike. 

" In the North the alternation of winter and summer 
allots to the life of man distinct and different duties. 
Summer is the season of outdoor labor; winter is spent 
in the dwelling. In the South labor may be continuous, 
though it may vary. The Northern man must do to-day 
that which the Southern man may put off till to-morrow. 
For this reason, the Northern man must be industrious ; 
the Southern may be indolent, having less foresight, and 
a less tendency to regulated habits. The cold, bringing 


with it a partial cessation from labor, affords also an op- 
portunity for forethought and reflection, and hence the 
Northern man acquires a habit of not acting without 
consideration, and is slower in the initiation of his move- 
ments. The Southern man is prone to act without re- 
flection; he does not fairly weigh the last consequences 
of what he is about to do. The one is cautious, the other 
impulsive. Winter, with its cheerlessness and discom- 
forts, gives to the Northern man his richest blessing — it 
teaches him to cling to his hearthstone and family. In 
times of war, that blessing proves to be his weakness ; he 
is vanquished if his dwelling be seized. The Southern 
man cares nothing for that. Cut off from the promptings 
of Nature for so long a portion of the year, the mind in 
the North becomes self-occupied ; it contents itself with 
but few ideas, which it considers from many points of 
view. It is apt to fasten itself intently on one, and pur- 
sue it with fanatical perseverance. A Southern nation, 
which is continually under the influence of the sky — 
which is continually prompted to varying thought, will 
indulge in a superfluity of ideas, and deal with them all 
superficially ; more volatile than reflective, it can never 
have a constant love for a fixed constitution. Once re- 
solved to act, the intention of the North, sustained by 
reason alone, will outlast the enthusiasm of the South. 
In physical courage the two are equal, but the North will 
prevail through its habits of labor, of method, and its 
inexorable perseverance. Long ago, writers who have 
paid attention to these subjects have affirmed that the 
South will fight for the benefit of its leaders, but the 
North will conquer for the benefit of all. To convince 
the man who lives under a roof, an appeal must be made 
to his understanding; to convince him who lives under 
the sky, the appeal must be to his feelings." 

The nations of men are arranged by climate on the sur- 


Laws of human f ace °f the earth in bands that have a most 
thf equ e ator r S important physiological relation. In the tor- 
ward the poles r ^ zone ^ intellectual development does not 

advance beyond the stage of childhood ; all the ideas cor- 
respond to those of early individual life. In the warmer 
portions of the temperate zone, the stage of youth and 
commencing manhood is reached. A critical observer 
can not fail to be interested with the tone of thought and 
manner of action of these populations : their old men are 
only overgrown youths. Along the cooler portions of 
that zone, the character attained is that of individual ma- 
turity, staid sobriety of demeanor, reflective habits, tardy 
action. Fire, vivacity, brilliancy, enthusiasm, are here ex- 
changed for coldness, calculation, perseverance. Present 
gratification, a life of ease, a putting aside of care, are the 
characteristics of the southern edge of this zone; content- 
ment in the anticipation of a happier future, even though 
that happier future should imply a life of unremitting 
toil, is the characteristic t)f the northern. The former 
seeks to secure its pleasures from the unrequited toil of 
those whom it can compel; the latter aims at the same 
result by securing the equally reluctantly-rendered gains 
of trade. The one relies on Force, the other too much 
on Fraud. Still more to the north, as the frigid regions 
are approached, the type of humanity answers to the 
later years of individual life — even the children are old 

Nature thus gives us, in the geographical distribution 
of human beings, a reflected picture of the 

Resemblance to the n . -, . . 1 -, • TTT , 

progress of mdivid- ages oi individual man. We need not go 

uallife. o # o 

beyond the precincts of our own republic to 
recognize that truth. 

I have now to turn from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
region of the United States. In this, considering the re- 
centness of its settlement, our thoughts must be directed, 


not so much to what is as to what will hereafter be, and, 
therefore, it is little that upon this point can be said. 
Such a sameness of climate as that between the Atlan- 
tic States and the corresponding latitudes of 

The wonderful va- ,t tit* • • • tt n • i l 

rieties of the Pacific the Mississippi Valley is here no longer per- 
atl many modifica- ceived. There are no longer the equally dis- 

tions of men. # . . 

tributed heats or the symmetrical rains. On 
the contrary, we have to deal with a region of the most 
abrupt and violent meteorological contrasts — of a most 
versatile capacity for animal and vegetable life in all their 
possible modifications. In localities no very great dis- 
tance apart there are scorching heats and eternal snows, 
sandy deserts sterile for want of rain, and districts marked 
by a perpetual humidity. That wonderful region has the 
capacity for acclimating all kinds of tropical, subtropical, 
and temperate forms of both realms, animal and vege- 

In its interminable plains and basin-like areas, in its 
mountain heights and on their rapid inclines, new forms 
of organization will be developed. From such areas in 
Asia came most of our domesticated animals, our cereals 
and fruits. In the Pacific region there is an American 
Arabia, Persia, Palestine, Tartary. For a million of square 
miles the aspect of nature is altogether Asiatic, and then, 
on the coast, it abruptly approximates the European. 
Europe and Asia are here pressed into contact. 

Man also, in these varied abodes, will undergo modifica- 
tion; and since, under like circumstances, hu- 
man nature is always the same, the habits 
and ideas of the Old World will reappear in the New. 
The arts of Eastern life, the picturesque Orientalism of 
Arabia, will be reproduced in our interior sandy desert, 
the love-songs of Persia in the dells and glades of Sonora, 
and the religious aspirations of Palestine in the similar 
scenery of New Mexico. 

Asiatic life in 



In determining the operation of climate on nations, it must be borne in mind that 
man, to a certain extent, can control natural influences by producing artificial 
climates. This is done by the use of fire, food, clothing, houses, etc. ; and though 
these compensations can never be complete, they tend to produce unity of char- 
acter in civilized life. 

Considered as a mere member of animated nature, man 
control over cii- mus ^ submit to the universal, the imperious 
mate by man. domination of physical agents ; but consid- 
ered as endowed with reason, he exhibits a great, a con- 
spicuous advantage. He can create artificial climates, and 
modify the aspect of his place of abode. He has, there- 
fore, within certain limits, a power of antagonizing nature, 
and of resisting the physical agents that tend to his de- 
struction. For this he resorts to the use of clothing, to 
properly constructed shelter, to the management of fire, 
to variations in his food, and to migration. 

Man, therefore, tends to create salubrious climates. He 
adapts external conditions to himself, and himself to them, 
and hence is only slowly modified when other animals 
would become extinct. 

The Indians who formerly occupied this continent, in- 
adequately clad, imperfectly sheltered in 

Contrast between . , . ■, • , -i • « (1 

the iudian and the their wigwams, knowing nothing or the 
management of fire beyond the rude method 
of kindling a few sticks and exposing themselves to the 
heat and smoke together, restrained in their migration to 
a narrow territorial range through incessant tribe war- 
fare, using no adaptation of diet to suit the warmth or 
the cold, with difficulty maintained themselves through 


a life of hardship. A high death-rate kept their num- 
ber down. 

The European, who has supplanted them, makes the 
enterprise and industrial art of the world tributary to his 
purposes, in furnishing him the warmest woven fabrics 
and furs for winter clothing, and light and cool articles 
for the summer. He lives in houses heated by fireplaces, 
stoves, furnaces, steam, or many other contrivances contin- 
ually undergoing improvement. He has shady piazzas, 
verandas, and apartments skillfully ventilated. He lays 
all countries under tribute to furnish him articles of food 
and luxury. He can abate the heat of summer and mod- 
erate the rigors of winter. He can equalize the tempera- 
ture to which he is exposed, and create a new and ficti- 
tious climate for himself. His ample means of locomo- 
tion give him a ready access, as occasion requires, to the 
cool sea-shore or the mountains, or to the warmth and 
mild seasons of the South. 

In the creation of a fictitious climate, the man of the 
North has been more successful than the 

Contrast between « -, ^ , -i •» • . • • , • ,t 

the North and man oi the koutn.lor it is easier to raise the 

South. ' 

temperature of an abode from a low degree 
than to cool it from one that is high. In the infancy of 
humanity, cold was man's antagonist ; his more perfect 
civilization struggles less successfully with heat. 

It is interesting to observe what an impress this has 
made upon human character. The man of the North has 
learned that he can resist natural influences destructive 
to his comfort, or injurious to his well-being. He be- 
comes provident, self-reliant, active. 

The man of the South, oppressed with the heat that he 
can not combat, and from which he can not escape, queru- 
lously resigns himself to what he thinks is unavoidable, 
and can not be overcome. Inactivity is his only refuge. 
He submits to what he considers to be his fate. 


In the temperate and cold regions of the globe the 
mean annual heat is much below 98°, and, therefore, much 
below that of the body of man. There are but few sum- 
mer days in which the thermometer rises as high as 95° ; 
hence there ensues a physiological necessity for the devel- 
opment of heat in the system, to keep the temperature up 
to its standard point. The quantity of heat thus neces- 
sarily engendered must obviously be greater as the exter- 

controi through se- na ^ a i r * s co °l er ? an( l civilized man meets the 
lection of fool. variable demand by variations in his food. 

Of articles of food, some, such as fruits, by undergoing 
oxidation in the system, liberate or engender a less 
amount of heat; others, such as oils, fats, and animal 
meats, produce a much greater quantity. Guided, as 
we say, by instinct, the inhabitant of a tropical climate 
prefers a light and watery diet, finding a grateful repast 
in vegetable products. He says, what is strictly true, 
that they are less heating to his system. On the contra- 
ry, the inhabitant of a cold country turns from such 
things with disgust. He satisfies his appetite with more 
highly combustible food — food that will yield more heat 
by oxidation. To the Laplander, tallow and train oil, 
things to the last degree revolting to the West Indian, 
furnish an acceptable repast. The Esquimaux delights in 
the fat of seals and the blubber of whales. 

Where, by reason of the exterior cold, man is compelled 
to generate much interior heat to maintain his standard 
degree, such highly heat-yielding food as the various oils 
and fats must be resorted to. Where, on the contrary, 
by reason of the exterior warmth, as in tropical countries, 
the loss of heat from the body is less, there is a less de- 
mand for interior heat generation, and watery articles of 
food, such as fruits, are preferred. 

Now it is often said that instinct guides us in these our 
likes and dislikes, but we find -that they depend on a pro- 


found scientific cause. We also see — and hence the im- 
portance of the study of these things to the philosophical 
historian — that the habits and mode of life of communi- 
ties depend on the physical conditions to which they are 
exposed. One people will delight in the chase, another 
will be occupied with agriculture. 

This regulation of his interior temperature by adjust- 

Food adjustments ments . in the , quality and quantity of his 
of barbarian nfe. f 00( [ i s carried into operation most com- 
pletely by civilized man. Not unfrequently it implies a 
moral restraint, such as the barbarian is little likely to 
impose upon himself. However, in the first advances of 
humanity, food-adjustments are often displayed. Thus it 
was remarked by the early European voyagers that the 
North American Indians who lived near the Mexican 
Gulf were much more disposed to agricultural pursuits 
than those of Canada. They had gardens in which mel- 
ons, squashes, and pumpkins were raised, and, though 
wild animals were very abundant, relied much less on 
the chase. 

By thus availing himself of his perfect control over 

control of doth- fire i h J changing his clothing to suit the 
in g , shelter, etc. seasons f the year ; by constructing houses 

that shelter him from the weather; by regulating the 
food he uses, civilized man creates artificial climates for 
himself, no matter in what part of the world he may hap- 
pen to be. In this respect he therefore tends to emanci- 
pate himself partially from the climate influences that 
have acted so disastrously on former inhabitants of the 
world, and led to their repeated exterminations. 

The European type of man, introduced on this conti- 
nent, and obliged to submit to the exposures and mode 
of life of the Indian, would, in the lapse of time, approach 
the Indian complexion, configuration, characteristics. But 
living, as it does, in a climate artificially created, and sub- 



[Sect. I. 

jected to none of the natural hardships and exposures 
that otherwise would bear so prejudicially upon it, it de- 
parts more slowly from the typical standard, and, in 
truth, its departures are in another, probably a higher di- 

The general result of this creation of artificial climates 
is, that the inhabitants of a country, far and 

Approximation to -t t . -, -, . 

sameness in civil- near, are brought more closely to an average, 

ized populations. 5\ / n, 

or mean condition. Great differences of tem- 
perature, particularly of temperatures that are low, are 
reduced, and men are made more homogeneous, more like 
one another. We see this very strikingly in the case of 
modern Europe, where, through the operation of such 
artificial causes, an approximate sameness in the circum- 
stances under which life is carried on is approached ; men 
are less modified than they were when exposed to the 
undisturbed natural conditions ; their race-diversities be- 
come less ; they consequently think and act more nearly 
alike.' Every passing year brings the population of that 
continent into a more homogeneous state ; it tends to di- 
minish physical and intellectual diversities, and prepare 
the way for unity in political institutions. 

This approximation in corporeal and intellectual con- 
cause of me deshe dition is the true cause of that passionate 
for political unity. longing for political unity exhibited by so 

many modern people. Unionism, if fought for in Amer- 
ica, is sighed for in Italy and Germany. Statesmen who 
justly comprehend the irrepressible nature of national in- 
stincts thus rooted in the very constitution of man, know 
well that, whatever the political cost or sacrifice may be, 
it is the part of wisdom to gratify them. 

I have made the remark that it is much more easy, by 
food, clothing, houses, the management of fire, to raise 
temperatures that are low than to diminish those that 
are high. All things considered, probably the most suit- 


able mean point is 62°. Practically we can more readily 
ascend from wintry temperatures to that point, than de- 
scend to it from the warmth of summer. Hence it comes 
to pass that our creation of artificial climates is, for the 
most part, equivalent to living in a more southerly re- 

The mean annual temperature of the city of New York 
is about 50°, that of the city of Washington about 55°. 
There is, therefore, a difference of five degrees in the mean 
annual temperature of these two towns — that is, so far as 
natural conditions are concerned. But, in point of fact, 
in all those classes of society which can command what 
we speak of as the comforts of life, this difference is great- 
ly diminished, and the mean artificial temperature of New 
York is brought more closely to approach the natural 
temperature of Washington. 

However, after all has been done, these artificial cli- 
mate-compensations are only partial: they 

Incomplete charac- ittiij i ,i 

ter of these compen- can never establish between places that are 

sations. .... i 

far apart a true identity : and, since such re- 
sidual variations, no matter how insignificant they may 
be, make an inevitable impression on the constitution and 
construction of man, different communities will ever pre- 
sent the spectacle of variously-modified men. 

We must not forget that of the two sexes, considering 
Acclimatization of their different habits of life, women are much 

more influenced by the creation of artificial 
climates. This arises from their sedentary or domestic 
pursuits in the interior of houses as compared with the 
outdoor life of men. They impress, however, upon their 
children — for these effects are capable of hereditary trans- 
mission — the peculiarities thus imposed upon themselves, 
though perhaps in a diminished degree. On the whole, 
the Northern woman is, in civilized life, much more South- 
ernized than the Northern man. 



Since every climate has an answering type of humanity, it is possible to anticipate 
national character and national action by an identification of a corresponding 
climate-zone, and its historical study. 

These principles are illustrated by the climate-zone of the Southern States, by the 
non-existence of the indigenous negro in America, and by the intellectual defi- 
ciency of the earth's southern hemisphere. 

That similar causes will always produce similar ef- 
fects is a maxim which holds good as perfectly in physi- 
ology as in the purely physical sciences. 

Man is a plastic organism. He changes with the chang- 
ing influences to which he is exposed. Like 

Every climate has, •jii -ir»ji ,, i t 

its type of human- clay m the nana oi the potter, he may be 
modeled into many different forms ; but suc- 
cessive portions of clay forced into the same mould will 
yield casts that are all alike. 

So for every climate, and, indeed, for every geograph- 
ical locality, there is an answering type of humanity. An 
intruder placed under such influences forthwith com- 
mences to undergo a corresponding modeling, which, 
though race-peculiarities may retard, does not cease until 
the proper type is assumed. 

With the assumption of that typical form come hab- 
its and interests that pertain to it. With a 

And each type its • -i i -i «i • , • • l 

special mode of special bodily organization comes a special 

thought. r J © . * 

and corresponding mental organization, and 
a disposition for a determinate course of thought. The 
thoughts of man will always gather a tincture from the 
circumstances and scenery amid which he lives. 


If there be two localities in which the aspect of nature 
and all other physical influences are precisely alike, we 
may be sure that there will be a close correspondence in 
the habits and thoughts of their inhabitants. 

Hence political foreknowledge is based upon a study 
of nature. If we wish to ascertain the prob- 

The method of po- -, -, . . n . ... " .. 

nticai foreknowi- able action oi a given existing; community, 

edge. ° ° , 

we must seek for some former community 
which has been placed under similar natural conditions. 
Its life will foreshadow the life of that in which we are 
taking an interest. 

We must not, however, expect to find conditions of ab- 
solute identity ; at best we can only detect an approxima- 
tion. Yet from the recognition of such an approximation 
the most valuable suggestions may be extracted. The 
doings of the past, but analogous or parallel community, 
will be to us prophetic. 

Hereafter it will be one of the most interesting and 
valuable studies of the American statesman to determine 
in the Old World the counterparts of proposed geo- 
graphical localities in the New. His expectations will 
be guided by their history, and in this manner will his- 
tory most truly discharge its proper function, and be phi- 
losophy teaching by example. 

Some general resemblances have been traced by writers 
on meteorology between certain localities in 

Local resemblances -» T ■ i * • i < i • ,1 /-\-in tit t t 

in the New and old JN ortn America and others m the Old World. 

World. ... 

Thus the Atlantic region in many important 
respects corresponds to China, the Gulf of California to 
the Red Sea, Sonora to Persia, the Great Basin to the 
basin of the Caspian, the Sandy Desert to Arabia, New 
Mexico to Palestine, British America on the north to the 
plains of Siberia and European Russia, the Prairie region 
to Moldavia and Wallachia. 


On the other hand, there are very important differences 
between the west coast of America and the west coast of 
Europe. The Gulf Stream, crossing the Atlantic, carries 
with it the heat of the torrid zone, raising the tempera- N 
ture and giving humidity to all Western Europe. But 
off the California coast is a great body of cold water, 
which keeps the ' temperature down. On the Pacific, 
therefore, Norway, England, and Spain are represented 
on a narrow strip, but there is nothing that answers to 

It is not, however, from such general resemblances that 
a basis is to be obtained ; for political reasoning, we must 
follow the surer guide of isothermal zones. Imperfect as 
our knowledge of them is, it nevertheless will yield us 
very valuable indications. 

Let it be proposed, for example, to inquire what will 
be the probable character of a European population 
placed on the Atlantic border, and destined to develop 
itself westwardly along a special climate-zone bounded 
on the north by the July isothermal line of 77°, and on 
the south by that of 84°. 

First we shall have to ascertain in what part of the 
Old World the same isothermal zone occurs; 

Illustration by the , -ini ii o i • ii 

isothermal zone of then we shall have to learn trom nistorv the 

the Southern States. _ •it 

character and acts of the nations who have 
inhabited that zone. 

In such an investigation we are guided by the summer 
isothermals rather than the winter, because, as has been 
shown in what has been said respecting the production 
of artificial climates by civilized man, it is much easier to 
raise the winter temperature than to diminish the sum- 
mer. Practically, man is compelled to submit unresist- 
ingly to the summer heat. 

The problem I have here presented for consideration 
L— H 


its track in the old is in reality that of the Southern States. At 
world. once ft j g ^ *fo e remar ]£ed, from an inspection 

of the map, page 112, that their summer climate zone does 
not occur upon the Continent of Europe. It follows the 
Mediterranean edge of the African coast through regions 
made memorable in ancient history by the great capitals, 
Carthage and Alexandria. Entering Asia, it passes 
through the Holy Land, leaving Palmyra on its northern 
verge. It crosses the Tigris and Euphrates, enveloping 
Nineveh and Babylon, and makes its way through Cen- 
tral Persia, Ispahan being about its midst. Eastward, 
beyond Afghanistan, it encounters the Himalaya Mount- 

No climate zone on the face of the earth has produced 
character of its g rea ter men, or more profoundly affected the 
population. course of human affairs. Among soldiers, it 
has Hannibal ; among philosophers, Euclid ; among as- 
tronomers, Ptolemy. Persia is a land of poets. Jerusa- 
lem, the holiest of cities, is the cradle of religion. Car- 
thage disputed with Rome the empire of the world. If 
there be a geographical band, the inhabitants of which 
have completely delivered down their annals to succeed- 
ing generations, a band that deserves the title of the His- 
torical, this is it. 

So vast is the mass of illustration afforded that it is 
impossible for me to consider all this zone. 

Selection of the t l n j i n ijii i • i 

North African por- I snail, therefore, select the portion nearest 
to us — the south Mediterranean coast — limit- 
ing my remarks to the most westerly portion of it. 

Into this strip of land, bounded by the Mediterranean 
Sea above, by the desert of Sahara below, and backed by 
that classic range of mountains, the Atlas — a land of 
vines, maize, melons, oranges, lemons, and palms — at dif- 
ferent periods different races of men have been intro- 
duced. In its earlier and more glorious days it received 


emigrants from Asia — the Carthaginians. It has been 
held in subjection by Romans, Goths, Vandals, Byzan- 
tines, Saracens. 

If we inquire whether in such an enervating climate 
the lassitude of summer, by inducing an in- 

Its military re- ,. . . . ,.„ -. -, . .,. 

sources and nistor- disposition for active lite, destrovs all men- 
nation or genius for war, we shall quickly 
find an emphatic answer. The Roman generals could not 
conceal their astonishment at the surprising military re- 
sources of Carthage. On one occasion it surrendered to 
them 200,000 complete suits of armor, 2000 catapults and 
other engines of war. It maintained fleets of 2000 war 
ships and 3000 transports; it could bring into the field 
armies of 300,000 men. It made repeated invasions of 
Sicily, and held Spain in subjection. From that country 
it drew great supplies of silver, and mercenaries to recruit 
its forces. Though the sword and fire might be passed 
over North Africa in complete and ruinous subjugation, 
its Roman conquerors were amazed at the rapidity with 
which it could be rearmed. Driven to extremity, the 
men made weapons out of domestic implements; the 
women cut off their long hair for bow-strings. Its mil- 
itary virtues were seen at the final storming of Carthage, 
which was literally conquered street by street and house 
by house. 

The testimony to its military prowess borne by the 
Romans is repeated by the Byzantines. In the cam- 
paigns of Belisarius, it is declared that five millions of its 
inhabitants perished. That testimony could, in our own 
times, be sustained by the French. After more than thir- 
ty years, the conquest of Algeria is not finished. 

Then it matters not whether a Syrian, a Roman, a Goth, 
or an Arab be put on that zone, he will not be enervated 
by it, nor will his military virtues decline. 

Nay, more, even the women will rival, perhaps exceed 


character of its in patriotism, the men. They come to ma- 
women. turity at an earlier age than their sisters 

who inhabit a colder climate. Their passions rise higher 
than love. When Asdrubal, in the extremity of despair, 
submitted to the Romans, his wife appeared on the roof 
of the burning temple of Esculapius, and, upbraiding him 
with bitter taunts for his surrender, threw herself head- 
long into the flames. It was in this zone, though far in 
the east, that Zenobia, the Palmyrean queen, resisted the 
Emperor Aurelian ; on the banks of the Euphrates, the 
jeweled dromedary of that dark-eyed fleeing beauty was 
overtaken by the light-horse of Rome — in this, her ex- 
emplar Cleopatra, the Egyptian daughter of the Mace- 
donian kings, was bitten by an asp, brought to her in a 
basket of flowers, to escape being led in the triumph of 
her conqueror. 

Among races of such a hot temperament war assumes 
its most pitiless aspect. In the conflict between the Car- 
thaginians and their mercenary or slave troops, so dread- 
ful were the cruelties committed that foreign nations were 
appalled. The Greeks gave it an immortality of infamy 
t.v i. • f by denouncing it as " The Inexpiable War." 

Its behavior to pns- Jo x 

oners of war. Prisoners taken on the field were put to 
death. Some were crucified ; others thrown to the wild 
beasts ; in one day 40,000 captives were massacred in 
cold blood. The lapse of ages does not modify the cli- 
mate-engendered passions of man. In that country, and 
in our own time, French officers, exasperated to retalia- 
tion, have suffocated their fugitive enemy by fires at the 
mouths of caves. 

But, turning away from these darker characteristics, 
and confessing that the history of this zone 

It can not appreci- • t« , -i p i • • i • ■ - - i» *i 

ate the sacredness indicates a detective appreciation oi tnat no- 
ble sentiment, the sacredness of human life, 
if we proceed to inquire what has been its influence on 


the intellectual faculties, we shall have a more acceptable 
and gratifying task. Modern Europe is under the deep- 
est obligation to it. Our form of Christianity came not 
from Constantinople, not from Asia Minor, not even from 
Rome. We owe it to African ecclesiastics, to Athanasius 
the Alexandrian, and Augustine the Carthaginian. 

When, after the Mohammedan conquest of the North 
its intellectual at- African shore, polygamy had done its work, 
tainments. an( j jfo Q n y"b r i(j mixture of Roman, Goth, and 

Vandal had been so thoroughly extinguished by amalga- 
mation with the Saracen that, as the emir of the province 
informed the khalif, the tribute had ceased, since all the 
children were speaking the Arabic tongue, a new ethni- 
cal element had been introduced. Three or four centu- 
ries brought that new people into harmony with surround- 
ing nature, and manifested the influence of this zone on 
the intellectual powers. Through a line of academies 
and colleges reaching from Bagdad to • Spain, Physical 
Science and Industrial Art were conveyed to Europe from 
the East. The country was a pathway of learning. Great 
writers on Theology, Law, Mathematics, Astronomy, and 
all the highest branches of human knowledge abounded. 
In my History of the Intellectual Development of Europe 
I have considered these facts in detail. There were prob- 
lems solved by these Africans in the twelfth century for 
which Europe was not ready until Hve hundred years 
later. As an illustration, I have reviewed the optical 
works of Alhazen, who explained the true theory of vis- 
ion, determined the use of the retina, the nature of sin- 
gle sight with two eyes. He traced the course of a ray 
of light through the air ; pointed out and explained the 
operation of astronomical refraction ; ascertained the 
cause of the twilight, and of the appearance of the hori- 
zontal sun and moon. He determined that the atmos- 
phere must have a limit, and assigned for its height 58^ 


miles — an estimate very near the truth. In Alhazen's 
time there was not a man in all Christendom who could 
read with understanding these things. 

Then there is nothing in this zone incompatible with 
an exercise of the highest intellectual powers; on the 
contrary, when opportunity favors, much may be done. 
Undoubtedly the rapidity with which the Tyrian emi- 
grants in the old days, and the Arabian conquerors of a 
later time, came into harmony with this climate, was due 
to the trifling variation they had to encounter — the for- 
mer were denizens of the same zone, the latter came from 
one only a little distance to the south. 

But in the present condition of that country, so highly 
favored by Nature, there is an ominous warning. 

Though Carthage had a negro slave-trade, it never 
amounted to much. Those Africans were 

The slave system. 3 * • ' -n n i • x /> 

disposed oi m Europe rather as objects 01 
curiosity than for the services they could render. The 
Roman war system and slave system provided for labor 
in another way. For many centuries North Africa re- 
ceived its supply of immigrants from Europe, at first vol- 
untarily, but eventually under the form of a slave-trade. 
In the time of Charlemagne so much scandal had arisen 
from this commerce that he was constrained to interfere. 
When the Italian dukes accused Pope Adrian of selling 
his vassals as slaves to the Saracens, Charlemagne had 
the matter investigated, and, finding that transactions of 
the kind had occurred in the port of Civita Vecchia, he 
ever after withdrew his countenance from that pope. At 
that time a very extensive child slave-trade was carried 
on with the Saracens through the medium of Jewish 
traders. Ecclesiastics, as well as barons, sold the chil- 
dren of their serfs. 

As Europe advanced in intelligence this supply ceased 
as a matter of peaceable merchandise, but the Barbary 


corsairs continued to satisfy the demand by the captures 
they made at sea. The advancing maritime power of 
Europe eventually, however, closed that source. As long 
as this forced immigration lasted, the resulting contami- 
nation was insignificant; but, as the labor-necessities of 
the country were imperative, the African slave-trade was 
reopened, and negroes were brought from Guinea. The 
Negro slavery in history of Morocco should be studied by all 

who take an interest in the future of our 
Southern States : it shows well the progress of such af- 
fairs. The higher classes led a life of Sybarite gratifica- 
tion. In the Nile garden of the emperor luxury was car- 
ried to its last extreme. The tables were spread with 
costly delicacies; in the harems the mattresses were 
stuffed with roses. The menial offices of the community 
demanded a slave supply. Negroes from the interior 
were at first introduced -as laborers, but soon contending 
competitors for sovereign power found it to their interest 
to employ them as troops. Experience showed that they 
made effective soldiers. Docile until they had learned 
their strength, they became at last mutinous in their de- 
mands for plenty of pay and plunder. They gained pow- 
er in the government. Whole colonies of them were now 
introduced ; towns were built for them, lands assigned. 
They readily adopted the Mohammedan faith. A mortal 
adulteration set in through concubinage with the negro 

I may quote the following sentence from my work on 

the Future Civil Policy of America : " It is 

biood-contamina- not consistent with the prosperity of a na- 
tion. , . i r j 

tion to permit heterogeneous mixtures of 
races that are physiologically far apart. Their inferior 
product becomes a dead weight on the body politic. If 
Italy was for a thousand years after the extinction of the 
true Roman race a scene of anarchy, its hybrid inhabit- 


ants being unable to raise it from its degradation, how 
indescribably deplorable must the condition be when 
there has been a mortal adulteration with African blood." 

When thus we see, in zones so favored by Nature as is 
this North African, a debased population, we may sus- 
pect a contamination with vile blood, or a forced depres- 
sion through the tyranny of a military power. 

From history, therefore, we learn that the climate-zone 
summary of its so- we proposed for consideration — a zone em- 
dai condition. bracing our Southern States— is congenial to 

the development of very high qualities in man. The an- 
nals of various races who have been brought upon it dur- 
ing more than twenty-five hundred years confirm that 
conclusion. It has been the scene of the grandest mili- 
tary achievements — of the noblest intellectual attain- 
ments. When they are under no excitement, its inhabit- 
ants listlessly submit to the heat, declining whatever ex- 
ertions they can avoid, doing nothing for themselves that 
may be done for them by another. Hence it has ever 
been a zone of forced labor. Society upon it tends spon- 
taneously to decomposition into a grade that seeks to 
command, and a grade that is compelled to obey. In the 
higher caste, under a deceptive listlessness, violent emo- 
tions are concealed; an imperious spirit is engendered 
that brooks no control, and will be satisfied with nothing 
but mastery. In one respect particularly does this zone, 
however, show inferiority — in the artistic perception of 
the beautiful. All along its track, from the Atlantic 
Ocean eastward to the banks of the Indus, are to be seen 
grand architectural remains — some like the Egyptian Pyr- 
amids — eternal ruins. But it was reserved for the na- 
tions of a colder clime to excel in sculpture and painting. 
Not in Egypt or Palmyra — not in Carthage, or Tyre, or 
Assyria, but in Greece and Italy, could the chisel and the 
pencil express by their work living men. The zone we 


have considered appreciates with justice the good and 
the true, but not the beautiful. 

To the foregoing illustration, drawn from the zone of 
the Southern Atlantic States in its course across the Old 
World, I may, perhaps, profitably add some remarks re- 
specting the distribution of the negro race. 

To what cause shall we impute the natural absence of 
cause of the ab- tne ne g r0 on tnis continent? If he be only 
lTsne grwsfn n ~ a modified man — modified in the hottest of 
all climates — why is he not met with indig- 
enously in America ? 

The principles I have been explaining give us at once 
a singular and a satisfactory answer. 

If we leave the African Mediterranean shore, and ad- 
vance to the south, we pass through bands of population 
sensibly becoming darker, save when a disturbance arises 
by reason of the topographical elevation. On the north 
of the equator, the negro land is not reached until we are 
within 25° of latitude. The true negro occupies a zone 
crossing through the continent west and east. The 
Track of the warmth equator, which, however, does not co- 
warmth equator, ixicicle with the geographical equator, marks 
out his maximum development. The warmth equator, as 
seen on map, page 112, enters Africa along the coast of the 
Gulf of Guinea; then, rising to about 15°, it crosses the 
continent, escaping from its eastern promontory at Cape 
Guardafui; it intersects the most southerly portions of 
Hindostan ; then, crossing the earth's equator, it passes 
through the midst of the Eastern Archipelago, and, re- 
turning through America, traverses our continent at its 
narrowest point, the Isthmus of Panama. 

Examining the zone marked out by this line, and des- 
ignated as negro land, it will be found that the negro 
characteristics of its inhabitants are not in all parts devel- 


oped in equal intensity. The maximum is in the Guinea 

countries ; and thence, across the continent 

acteristicsofthe to the east, the physiognomy improves. The 

negro characteristics are intense blackness 

of the skin, woolly hair, thick lips, gaping nostrils, and 

a receding skull. But the negro aspect is not limited 

to the African continent; it is continued through the 

Indian into the Pacific Ocean, north and 

Geographical dis- iin,i l t* . -i • 

tributionofthene- south oi tne equator oi warmth, m a zone 

ffro type. 

of several degrees. Sumatra, Borneo, Cele- 
bes, New Guinea, and part of Australia, lie in this zone. 
In these various countries one or more of the character- 
istics above mentioned predominate. Of some of their 
people the hair is not woolly ; of some, the lips are thin 
and the nose projecting ; of some, the form of the skull in- 
dicates a great superiority over the West African tribes ; 
but, whatever these modifications may be, the black races 
of the Pacific present, in their general appearance, so strik- 
ing a negro aspect, that they have by all travelers been 
classed with that tribe. Of one of these nations, Dam- 
pier, the early navigator, speaks as "shock curl-pated 
New-Guinea negroes." 
The recession of the Mediterranean Sea from the desert 
of Sahara, and its contraction within its pres- 

Effect of the reces- . -, n . iniiii iji 

sionoftheMedi- ent boundaries, had doubtless much to do 

terranean Sea. , , ' , _,_ x 

with the possibility of negro lite. It at the 
same time curtailed the glaciers of Europe, raising by 
many degrees the temperature of that continent, and ren- 
dered more intense the mean heat of the interior of Af- 
rica. That continent has experienced changes of level of 
a character analogous to those described in Chapter II. 
as occurring in America. The date of these movements 
is recent, geologically speaking, though long anterior to 
the appearance of man. Had the Mediterranean retain- 
ed its old boundaries, the negro type of man would have 
never been brought into existence. 


Now, if we observe the position of the warmth equator 

in America, it crosses our continent near the 

warmth equator in Isthmus of Panama, where the land is not 

more than fifty-one miles wide ; but its range 

through Central Africa is more than 4000 miles. 

The great Arabian and Jewish physicians of the Mid- 
. . , die Ages, who, from their residence, were 

Metamorphosis of o j ' ^ r 

the negro. thoroughly familiar with the African tribes, 

and who, rejecting the suggestion of Herodotus that men 
were created at different times, received it as an incontro- 
vertible fact that all human beings were descended from 
one original pair. They imputed varieties of complexion 
altogether to climate, and affirmed that the white man, 
exposed in Africa for five or six hundred years, would 
assume the negro aspect. They hel'd that the converse 
change from blackness to paleness occurred very much 
more slowly. In my work on Physiology I have shown 
how darkness of complexion is connected with the action 
of the liver, and that the secretion of black pigment into 
the cells of the skin takes place under the influence of a 
high temperature and moisture. The conditions for the 
production of the negro did not exist in America. There 
was no topographical expansion sufficient at Panama. 
The construction of Central America is the converse of 
that of Central Africa ; the Caribbean and Mexican Seas 
replace the sands of Sahara and the pestilential ever- 
glades of Soudan. In Africa the winter isothermal line 

Limits of negro life of 55 ° mark s out the true boundary of negro 
m America. ^ In America that line skirts the south- 

ern edge of the Gulf States. It is plain, then, that, were 
it not for the artificial climate created by civilization, the 
negro would be an exotic in all the domain of the repub- 
lic except in the southern verge of Texas and Louisiana, 
and in the peninsula of Florida. 


I might continue these illustrations of the control of 
climate over the complexion, constitution, habits, and 
thoughts of man, and of the prophetic indications we 
may gather from a conjoint study of nature and history, 
but one example more must suffice. 

What is the reason that in the earth's southern hemi- 
sphere no great man has ever yet appeared ? 

The January isothermal line of 41°, seen on map, page 
112, passing through what are known in 

Illustration from . . , ^ , ~ _ 

the southern hem- America as the .Border states, leaves our 


coast near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. 
In its path across the Atlantic it is pushed upward by 
the Gulf Stream through nearly thirty degrees of lati- 
tude. Gaining the British Islands, it descends in a south- 
easterly direction, separating the Protestant and Catholic 
portions of Ireland from one another. As it pursues 
Track of the winter its way through Europe, it has on one side 
line of 4i°. Spain, Southern France, Sardinia, Sicily, Ita- 

ly, Greece; on the other, Scotland, England, Northeastern 
France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany. So far, 
therefore, as the Continent of Europe is concerned, it sep- 
arates the countries of intellectual activity from those of 
intellectual repose. Leaving Europe at Constantinople, 
it passes through the capital of Persia, and in the far East 
bisects the Chinese Empire. It may therefore be regard- 
ed as the axis of a zone a few degrees wide, upon which, 
in Europe and Asia, all great men have appeared. 

Instructed by that remark, if we now turn to the south- 
it is a sea-iine in ern hemisphere, on the same map, we can not 
the south. f a i] *b em g impressively struck with the fact 

that the January isothermal of 41° is altogether a sea-line. 
It touches the land at no point. 

The greater land surface of the northern hemisphere 
gives to it the greater heat. It carries the warmth equa- 
tor north of the terrestrial equator, and completely dis- 
turbs the geographical order of climates. 


That greater land expansion has been one of the de- 
™ * mi, ♦ termining conditions of civilization. It is 

Effect of the greater vvy o 

the d noXera 10 hem- only when natural circumstances favor that 
man can rise above the savage state. So long 
as he is oppressed with the cares of life, and has to main- 
tain a combat with the austerities of a winter climate, or 
is compelled to yield unresistingly to the fervor of trop- 
ical heats, his life is necessarily animal, not intellectual. 
He differs in these particulars in no respect from the 
plants of which we have spoken on a former page (88). 
As with them, his zone of best development has a hot 
and cold side, beyond neither of which can he transgress 
with impunity. 

Though it can not be said that the southern hemi- 
sphere has ever yet produced a man who 

Effect of rainless 

regions illustrated has left his impress on the human race, or 

by Egypt and Peru. * , . ' 

permanently affected its history, it must not 
be forgotten that the germs of civilization had taken deep 
root in Peru. Local circumstances, in many respects like 
those that produced the same result in ancient Egypt, 
were here undoubtedly the auspicious agents : among 
them may particularly be mentioned the rainless con- 
dition of an important portion of both countries. As I 
have shown in my work on the Intellectual Development 
of Europe, that rainless condition indirectly induced cer- 
tainty in agriculture, thereby giving to man a remission 
from the cares of the future, an opportunity of turning 
from the low gratification of animal instincts to the im- 
provement of his mind. 





Spanish colonization, so far as the republic is concerned, was only of minor and in- 
direct influence. It was chiefly felt through a disturbance in the value of the 
precious metals, and the consequent promotion of commercial and maritime en- 
terprise. Through the diminution it occasioned in Indian life, and the demand 
it made for a greater labor supply, it led to the establishment of the African slave- 

French colonization failed both in its industrial and religious aspects. Its chief re- 
sults were the geographical exploration of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi Val- 
leys. It made no impression on the character of Indian life, which was based on 
the state-rights principle. It merged eventually in English colonization. 

In the Introductory Chapter it has been remarked that 
the scientific treatment of historical problems requires the 
consideration of two things — Nature and Man. 

On the foregoing pages I have completed what, per- 
haps, is necessary for the present purpose on the first of 
these topics, and now, turning to the second, am brought 
more particularly to the special portion of my work. 

In this I do not propose to enter on the details of 
American history, but only to contemplate its most ex- 
pressive features, making such a selection of well-known 
facts as seem to be best adapted to the purpose of afford- 
ing a true and striking representation of American life. 



The colonization of North America may be considered 


as having been conducted by three western European 
nations, Spain, France, England. For though 

Spain, France, and ., n ^ -, -i •*■ ,,i . 

England, colonize others, such as feweden, by its settlements on 

North America. _ . 

the Delaware, and Holland, by its establish- 
ments in New York, participated in the movement, the 
share taken by them*was so subordinate as scarcely to 
influence the result. Portugal, partly by accident and 
partly through ecclesiastical discipline, was excluded from 
these adventures — by accident, because she gained rights 
in South America through the discovery of Brazil by her 
navigator Cabral, who, in an attempt to double the Cape 
of Good Hope, had been brought by storms upon that 
coast eight years after the first voyage of Columbus ; by 
ecclesiastical discipline, because, in consequence of the bull 
of Pope Alexander VI. (1493), the then line of no mag- 
netic variation was established as a geographical bound- 
ary between Spain and Portugal, and the latter country 
satisfied her enterprise by doubling the South African 
Cape to seek the wealth of India. 

The development of ocean navigation in contradistinc- 
tion to coast navigation destroyed the com- 

The effect of ocean . 1 . /» -n t i pi 

navigation on eu- mercial system oi Europe, and transferred 

rope. J . ± 

mercantile activity from Upper Italy to those 
nations that have a front upon the Atlantic. This epoch 
is also distinguished by the important circumstance that 
commerce displaced ecclesiasticism as the chief civilizing 

But if in this manner the voyage of Columbus — by 
opening the ocean — acted as a cause, it was itself the con- 
sequence of a gradual progress of ideas incident to the 
general intellectual development of Europe. 

In the colonization of America Italy took no part, 
though the discoverer of the continent was a Genoese by 
birth. The lines of trade and commercial depots, estab- 
lished for centuries by her merchant princes, were in an 


Decime of the com- easterly direction. She found it impossible 
merce of itaiy. ^ surren <ier them, and never made any at- 
tempt to accommodate herself to the great mercantile rev- 
olution transpiring. 

Our subject, therefore, now presents three topics for 
consideration : 1st. The action of ftie Spaniards on the 
South ; 2d. The settlement of the French at the North, 
and their movements in the Mississippi Valley ; 3d. The 
colonization of the Atlantic coast by the English. Though 
the last proved to be the most important by nearly elim- 
inating both the others, it is nevertheless necessary to 
give attention to them. 

Fiest. Of the settlement and influence of the Spaniards 
at the South. 

Columbus died in the belief that the lands he had dis- 
covered were a part of Asia. Many years elapsed before 
their true geographical relation was determined, and the 
vast distance across the Pacific Ocean appreciated. Mean- 
time there were incessant attempts to find a break 
through the rocky range that chains North and South 
America to one another, to discover some strait or some 
river through which a passage might be 
Spaniards in the made into the Great South Sea. That sea 

Mexican seas. i-it t it t-» -n ttt t • 

had been discovered by Balboa. Wading in 
it up to his knees, with his sword in one hand and the 
Spanish flag in the other, he had claimed it for Castile. 
These attempts eventually furnished a knowledge of the 
coast-line of the Mexican Gulf, and of the beautiful isl- 
ands it incloses. 

Persisting until they gained their object, the Spaniards 
Attem tsofthe a ^ l en gth> under Magellan, in that greatest 
gi p ish i t a o d find n ap E aT- °f a ^ voyages, the first circumnavigation of 
the earth, found a passage to Asia through 
the strait that still bears his name. Emulating this splen- 
did example, the English, less fortunate, under Cabot, 


Hudson, Frobisher, and other navigators, fruitlessly tried 
to force their ships through the arctic ice. A sea-way to 
India was hoped for in spite of all disappointments. En- 
couragement was found in even the most trifling inci- 
dents. Thus, when the little Chickahominy, that de- 
scends through its swampy bed to James Eiver from the 
northwest — the Chickahominy destined for a blood-stain- 
ed future — was first discovered by Virginian adventurers, 
it was held to be beyond all doubt the long-sought mys- 
terious passage. 

The Mexican archipelago, with its emerald shores and 
palmy isles, traversed and ransacked in every direction, 
Spain, from her central position in Cuba, commenced an 
exploration and attempted a colonization of Florida, dis- 
covered by Ponce de Leon in 1512. This 

Discovery of the . •, . ^ . . . -i 

peninsula of Fior- peninsula, rivaling in appearance the en- 
chanting islands of the Gulf, presents a shore 
chiefly composed of coral sand. Deceived by its insidi- 
ous beauty, and ignorant of the pestiferous miasms en- 
gendered in its gloomy everglades, the first-comers spread 
abroad a rumor of its wonderful salubrity. They afiirm- 
ed that they had conversed with savages who had al- 
ready lived many centuries. A legend was floating 
among the Caribbee Indians that in this fairy land there 
was a fountain, of which whoever tasted, his youth was 
forthwith renewed. 

Romance, therefore, led to the first Spanish attempt at 
colonization of the main land. The unsuccessful settle- 
ment of Ponce de Leon was succeeded by the exploring 
expedition of Narvaez. But legends of the elixir of life, 
the waters of oblivion, the land of immortality, were soon 
followed by realities of crime. As early as 1520 the 
Spaniards made voyages to the coast of South Carolina 
siave expeditions for ^ e Purpose of stealing Indians for slaves. 
of the Spaniards. Their atrocious proceedings in the islands 
I.— I 


were already exterminating the native population. The 
expedition of Ferdinand de Soto, undertaken in 1539, 
though partly for exploration, was also partly to secure a 
supply of slaves. Conducted by men who had been in 
the army of Pizarro at the conquest of Peru, and who 
were therefore familiar with every kind of brutality, it 
carried with it bloodhounds and chains. Without any 
remorse, and as a warning to his comrades, the captive 
who resisted or tried to escape was killed on the spot 
The expedition of and thrown to the dogs. De Soto traversed 
Desoto. Georgia, saw the Appalachian Mountains, 

explored his way through Alabama, descended to Mobile ; 
then, directing his course to the northwest, it has been af- 
firmed that he crossed the Mississippi above the mouth 
of the Arkansas ; but, disappointed in his expectations of 
finding gold, and becoming entangled in interminable for- 
ests and marshes, he retraced his steps in despair, and, dy- 
ing of fever, was buried in the waters of the great river. 
The object of the Spaniards in these operations on the 
Gulf coast was to obtain the precious met- 

Ascertainment by -, ^~ -, . . * . . -, ^ 

the Spaniards of the als. (Jolomzation was quite a secondary ai- 

distribution of the , . x i -i • -i 

imeSS metal8in * air * * n a sn °rt time they had seized and 
conveyed away the stock previously collect- 
ed by Indian curiosity or industry. They became sat- 
isfied at length that the rich mineral regions were not on 
the north, but on the west of the Gulf, and commenced 
working the Mexican mines. Remorseless exactions of 
labor, unparalleled in cruelty since the time 

Their cruelties ex- t -r» • t • *i x • 

haust the labor when Kome carried on similar operations in 
Spain by slaves, soon created a demand for 
more men. Every creek and river, as far as the coast of 
North Carolina, was haunted by the slave-captains for a 

Meantime some feeble attempts of French Huguenots 
to establish themselves on the coast of Florida led to 


counter operations on the part of Spain. The 

Rival settlements -,-, ■■ , ■ i , • ,i , i 

of the French in h rencn gave to the countries on the north 
of their settlement the name of Carolina, in 
honor of their king, Charles IX. The Spaniards, under 
Menendez, who had collected 2500 emigrants and some 
African slaves, founded St. Augustine, the oldest town in 
the United States. Collisions, provoked partly by relig- 
ious animosities and partly by acts of piracy committed 
by the French, soon ensued. The Spaniards massacred 
their antagonists, not as Frenchmen, but as Calvinists ; 
the French retaliated without mercy. But it was found 
that the military possession of Cuba w T as decisive of the 
strife, and in the end Spain was left in undisturbed pos- 
session of the country. 

Already the atrocious destruction of Indian life and 
the consequent demand for human labor was 

Commencement of •, -, . -» TT . t^ • , > * 

the African slave- leading Western Europe into a great crime, 

trade. & . r & . 

the African slave-trade. In the transactions 
on the Florida coast, just referred to, the English slave- 
merchant, Sir John Hawkins, appears. Menendez himself 
had undertaken to import for his colony at St. Augustine 
five hundred African slaves. The foundations of that 
town were laid by negro hands. 

Spanish colonization of the domain of the republic is, 

therefore, historically of very subordinate im- 

Commercial influ- n Vl . » ,. , .-, , 

enceofthespan- portance. roliticallv it mav be considered 

ash movements. x . , , " J 

as insignificant. Very different, however, was 
it with the Spanish subjugation of Mexico. It produced 
a powerful impression on both worlds, the Old and the 
New. In the latter it destroyed Indian civilization, and 
went far to exterminate Indian life. In the former it 
profoundly affected the entire commercial system. 

Adam Smith, in his Wealth of Nations, shows that the 
value of silver had remained stationary for long previ- 
ously to the middle of the fourteenth century, but that 


Sudden increase in 


in the 

from that time to the beginning of the six- 
ieflftee?thceS- teenth it exhibited an extraordinary rise. 
tury ' Its purchasing power, as measured by the 

price of wheat, fully doubled. This enhancement con- 
tinued until about 1570. Several causes were probably 
concerned in producing it. The extensive commerce of 
Upper Italy with Asiatic countries occasioned an unceas- 
ing drain. As far back as the times of the first Caesars 
it had been recognized that the silver of Europe steadily 
found its way to India. Moreover, the interior commer- 
cial activity which was beginning to pervade all Europe 
required a large amount of coin. 

But the same author shows that in the next seventy 
years (1570-1640) a very important change 

It is followed by a -, rTTI -, ^ .-. -, -.. -. , 

decline, due to the occurred. I he value ot silver declined to 

Mexican mines. . . , 

about one third or one fourth, the minimum 

being reached about 1636. There can be no doubt that 

this was due to the large supplies furnished by the North 

and South American mines. From that time there was 

, . ,. again witnessed another rise, which continued 

A second rise then © / 

SS g dU commS- we U marked throughout the following cen- 
ciai activity. tury. These conclusions, though for the most 
part deduced from English history, hold good, there is 
reason to suppose, for Europe generally. 

The American yield of silver was at this time greater 
than that of gold. Before the discovery of 

The relative value . n t /»/> t i , n -i 

of silver and gold America the value ot line gold to nne silver 
was regulated in the different mints of Eu- 
rope in the proportion of one to ten or twelve. Gradu- 
ally the proportion changed, and in the seventeenth cen- 
tury it was as one to fifteen. The relative value of silver 
was therefore decreasing. The annual importations of 
silver into Spain and Portugal were in the middle of the 
last century somewhat over a million of pounds weight ; 
of gold it was about fifty thousand pounds weight. How- 


ever, it is to be remarked that data have not yet been 
„ , - u adduced for the determination of these esti- 

Humboldt's esti- 

Sf a the° AmerS mates with certainty. Humboldt supposes 

mmes - that from the conquest of Mexico in 1521 

until 1803, the total value of the silver thus produced 

was about two thousand millions of dollars, but this is 

probably an under estimate. 

These oscillations in the relative value of silver and 
present osdiia- S ^ s ^ continue. It has been affirmed 
^^o/goidand' 6 tliat California and Australia yielded more 
gold in ten years than all the rest of the 
world from 1492 to 1848, that is, in 356 years. The ef- 
fect of this excessive gold production has been to change, 
in many countries, the relation of the two metals. Thus, 
in France, up to 1850, gold was merchandise and silver 
currency ; then gold became currency and silver merchan- 
dise. In Holland, Belgium, Spain, gold has been demon- 
etized. Probably another reversal of the relative posi- 
tion of the two metals will shortly occur, when the great 
silver deposits of the United States are vigorously work- 
ed. The silver mines of Mexico, which had given an an- 
nual yield of twenty millions up to 1807, had increased 
their supply to forty millions in 1856. 

Such variations in the intrinsic value of gold ought to 
be steadily borne in mind by American statesmen in 
view of the conditions under which a large portion of the 
national debt, occasioned by the civil war, was contracted. 
The purchasing power of gold is undergoing a decline. 

On the North American continent at the time of the 
; .;:: . « Spanish colonization of Florida, the centre of 

Indian population 1 7 

at EhnTo? cor- mineral wealth was Mexico. There, also, was 
the centre of population. Through the plains 
of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, De Soto 
sought vainly for gold. There is reason to believe that 
the Indian population of Mexico, when Cortez invaded it, 


was not less than ten millions of souls. But Mr. Ban- 
croft estimates that, at the same epoch, the Indian popula- 
tion of the Atlantic region, from the Gulf of Mexico to the 
St. Lawrence, did not exceed 180,000 souls. These wan- 
dering tribes, therefore, constituted a very insignificant 
portion of the Indian life of the continent, of which the 
vast expanse might almost be considered as an uninhabit- 
ed solitude. 

The Spanish mining operations rapidly exhausted the 
its dreadful dimi- human supplies of the West India Islands, 
nution. an( j seriously diminished those of Mexico it- 

self. It soon became apparent that the Atlantic and Gulf 
countries could not be made to meet the demand. Such 
slave expeditions as those of Cortereal upon the coast, or 
of De Soto through the heart of the country, were prac- 
tically of no value. 

Under these circumstances, the Spanish government 
The Spanish gov- perceived that this wasteful expenditure of 
tie pJginlzattonof life must be stopped ; perhaps its action was 
hastened by finding that the conscience of 
Christendom was shocked at the horrible atrocity that 
had been perpetrated. When Las Casas accused his 
countrymen " before the tribunal of the universe" of hav- 
ing destroyed fifteen millions of Indians by their avarice 
and tyranny, no one denied the charge. Urged thus part- 
ly by moral considerations and partly compelled as a mat- 
ter of policy, that government attempted the organization 
of Indian labor. In Mexico, under its native emperors, 
all men were born free. Prisoners of war, convicted crim- 
inals and debtors, might become slaves ; but so mild was 
the system that the slave himself might hold property ; 
nay, more, he might even be the owner of slaves. 

The plan adopted by the court of Madrid was this 
(it, and its consequences, ought to be attentively studied 
by all interested in the present attempt at the organiza- 


tion of negro labor in the Southern States) : 

The system ihau- rT ,, x t , i • 1 r» t 

gurated, and its Ine Indians were converted into sens, and 
permanently attached to the soil. They 
were arranged on estates (encomiendas), and forbidden to 
work for themselves ; their labor must be for the Span- 
iards (conquist adores). For this each Indian was enti- 
tled to maintenance and wages, amounting to about twen- 
ty-five dollars per annum. The tribes were divided into 
sections, of which some contained as many as one hund- 
red families. These sections were assigned to Spaniards. 

Under this system mining operations exhibited no de- 
velopment ; in fact, many of the best veins were aban- 
doned. The tendency was to fall by degrees into a shift- 
less agriculture, carried on in the haciendas or farms. In- 
dustry declined. No more work was done than was ab- 
solutely necessary. The master and the peon were equal- 
ly lazy. But such is the influence that the possession of 
slaves exerts on those who have once owned them that 
great difficulties were encountered in enforcing the reg- 
ulations. The slave-master could not reconcile himself 
to the payment of labor which heretofore had cost him 
nothing ; he could not bring himself to consider his slave 
as a free or even freed man ; he was reluctant to surren- 
der his accustomed idea, that between himself and his la- 
borer there was no power, no judge but God. Individu- 
ally or by combinations, clandestine acts of injustice were 
continually perpetrated. The Indian was cheated out of 
his wages, and too often treated with brutal violence. 
The tribunals, under instructions from Madrid, generally 
acted with impartiality, but the intention of the govern- 
ment was thwarted. 

In such a lazy life the conquistadores in all directions 
became extinct, and the encomiendas fell into confusion. 
The viceroys and provincial councils (audiencias) did 
what they could to protect the Indians, who were hated 


and despised by the Spaniards. Even up to the time 
that Spanish dominion in Mexico was overthrown, these 
sentiments lost none of their force; the European Span- 
iard was determined to keep both the Indian and the Cre- 
ole in subjection. It was asserted that " no native Amer- 
ican should participate in the government so long as 
there was a mule-driver in La Mancha or a cobbler in 
Castile to represent Spanish ascendency." 

Second. Of the settlement of the French at the North, 
and their movements in the Mississippi Valley. 

The codfish, annually migrating from the Polar Seas, 
swarms in incredible numbers on the Banks 

The Newfoundland n -^-j- n -,, -. T •, -. ,.. 

fishery brings the oi .Newfoundland. It seeks those shoals 

French to America. i /» i 

partly for the sake of the abundant food 
they furnish, and partly to avoid the hot waters of the 
Gulf Stream, a current it dares not cross. 

In less than a century after the discovery of America, 
the Banks were frequented by Western Europeans in pur- 
suit of this fish. So common an affair had an Atlantic 
passage become, that there were men in this occupation 
who had made the voyage forty times. 

A fountain of immortality, and fabulous rivers flowing 
through golden sands, allured Spain to attempt the colo- 
nization of Florida. Less romantic and less splendid, but 
far more important in its results, the cod-fishery of New- 
foundland led France to the settlement of Canada, and to 
the exploration of the River Mississippi to its outlet in 
the Gulf of Mexico. 

French missionaries accompanied French mariners in 

these transatlantic voyages to the fishing- 

SmpS'of catholic banks. The Isle of Sable, a desolate speck 

converting the in- in the North Atlantic, afforded a first foot- 


hold to the new-comers. What a contrast 
between its wind-racked sands and the glorious land- 


scapes that had greeted Spain in the West Indian archi- 
pelago ! 

The Catholic authorities at the French court soon found 
mu ^ . that the Franciscan brethren who, under the 

The French gov- ' 

jesu n it^iKk.n s a- 0Ut protection of Champlain, the governor of 
Canada, had commenced their labor of love 
in seeking converts among the savages, and had already 
in part explored the Valley of the St. Lawrence, might be 
advantageously replaced by Jesuits. Missionaries of that 
order speedily pushed their way into the country of the 
Hurons, on the north of Lake Erie, establishing there 
what recommended itself to Catholic Europe as a Huron 
Christendom. Passing thence to the northwest, they ex- 
plored the vicinity of Lake Michigan. This was in 1638. 
Three years later, Father Raymbault, in a birch-bark ca- 
The Jesuits explore noe > reached Sault St. Mary, eventually losing 
the Great Lakes. j^ life in the cause. Many of his comrades 
were murdered by the Mohawks, some being scalped and 
tortured, some burned to death in a rosin fire, some scald- 
ed with boiling water. As fast as one missionary fell, 
another stepped into his place. 

More fortunate than his brethren, Father Allouez, pass- 
ing by the Pictured Rocks, gained the west- 

They discover and 

prepare to explore em shore of Lake Superior. From some li- 
the Mississippi. ... r 

linois Indians who had wandered to his mis- 
sion, he learned that a great river flowed through their 
territory to the south. They called it the Missepi. 

About midsummer, 1673, Father Marquette, with six 
other Frenchmen and two Indians, carrying their canoes 
on their backs, crossed over the ridge that divides the 
waters which flow into the Atlantic from those that de- 
scend into the Great Valley. Embarking on the Wiscon- 
sin, they followed its stream, and struck the Mississippi at 
Prairie du Chien. Landing from time to time," they ex- 
plored the eastern edge of Iowa, and preached the Gospel 


in Illinois. They passed the confluence of the Pekitano- 
ne, known now by the less beautiful name of Missouri. 
The country was full of buffaloes. They descended past 
the mouth of the Ohio, and traced the great river in its 
southerly course for about eleven hundred miles until 
they reached the Arkansas. This was the limit of their 

Commerce soon followed in the track that had been 
They solve the opened by religion. La Salle, who had been 
?ourse^f°t f he Mis- brought up in a Jesuit seminary, but who 
sissippi. j ia( j es tablished himself on Lake Ontario as 

a fur- trader, resolved to complete the discoveries of Mar- 
quette, and trace the Mississippi to its outlet. At that 
time the course of the river was very doubtful ; some af- 
firmed that it flowed westwardly into the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia ; some that its course was to the east, in Virginia ; 
some that its outlet w^as in Florida ; and others, with Mar- 
quette, that it flowed to the south, and emptied into the 
Gulf of Mexico. In any event, its exploration was of the 
utmost value to commerce. If it opened into the Pacific, 
the problem of a passage to Asia was solved ; if into the 
Atlantic or Gulf, the northern canoe transportation, so 
difficult and so tedious, was exchanged for an easy sea 
voyage, and the heart of the American continent thrown 
open to trade. La Salle made his way down the Illinois 
in 1682, descending the Mississippi — at that time called 
Del Espiritu Santo, and also the Colbert — to the Gulf of 
Mexico. He claimed the territory through which he 
passed for France, and called it, after her monarch, Loui- 
siana. France thus held the great central valley of Amer- 

French policy re- ica > a vast territory comprising what is now 
spectmg Louisiana. t :il0wn as Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, 

Missouri, Iowa, part of Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas. She 
even laid claim to all the country through which the 
affluents of the Mississippi descend. In 1700 an attempt 


at colonization was made by Iberville ; the bubble Mis- 
sissippi Company of John Law added to the population. 
In 1731 the company sold its claims to the French gov- 
ernment. In 1762 the French ceded the country to Spain. 
In 1800, Napoleon, then First Consul, induced Spain to 
retrocede it to France. In 1803, fearing that it might be 
seized by England, he sold it to the United States for fif- 
teen millions of dollars. 

The explorers of the Great Valley were thus French ec- 
clesiastics. French names still linger all through the Mis- 
sissippi. Though Pinedo first discovered the track of the 
river in 1519, and De Vaca crossed it in 1530-35, and 
Ferdinand de Soto, as was afiirmed — though doubt has 
been cast on the statement — had done the same near the 
mouth of the Arkansas, the remnant of his expedition 
passing down to the Gulf, so completely was the memory 
of these events lost, that when La Salle was sent out by 
the French government with a fleet in 1684 to make his 
T _ „ , wav up the river and colonize Louisiana, the 

La Salle s attempt- ■ . •/ x ? 

the e So5Konof undertaking failed altogether because the 
the vaiiey. mouth of the stream could not be found. 

His ships wandered westwardly to Matagorda Bay. Tem- 
porary settlements were thus made in Texas. A canoe 
expedition for the discovery of the river was unsuccessful, 
and La Salle was assassinated by his mutinous compan- 
ions in a desperate attempt to reach Canada on foot. 
It has often excited surprise that, considering the ener- 

causeofthefaii- EY with whicn the J were . conducted, these 
mfss ionai T F e r nte C r h - French missionary expeditions were product- 
ive of so little religious result. There was 
nothing answering to the success attending the labors of 
the Society of Jesus in Paraguay ; nothing whatever an- 
swering to the conversion of Europe in the early days of 
the Catholic Church. Neither Catholic nor Protestant 
could do any thing with these Indians. Jesuit and Fran- 


ciscan, Quaker, Moravian, and Puritan, labored among 
them in vain. 

In the case of South America, it is affirmed that out of 
nearly 1,700,000 aborigines, 1,600,000 embraced Chris- 
tianity, less than 100,000 remaining in the savage state. 
Of the latter, 66,000 belong to the Araucanian and Pata- 
gonian branches. 

In North America, upon the line of the Mississippi, 
and in the countries east of it, the Indian population, as 
we have seen, was very sparse. It was divided into na- 
tions and tribes, who kept up interminable and bloody 
wars. In character these Indians approached the Arau- 
canian and Patagonian tribes of South America, on whom, 
as we have said, little or no impression was ever made. 

There are few things more worthy of the curious con- 
The doctrine of templation of an American statesman than 
tnetbof?ginau°n- g the political condition of these Indian tribes 
dians ' at the time of the French exploration of the 

continent. They vividly represent the fatal action of the 
principle known to him as state-rights. In South Caro- 
lina there were the Uchees and Catawbas ; in North Car- 
olina, the Tuscaroras ; in Virginia, the Powhatan Confed- 
eracy ; in Maryland, the Nanticokes ; in Pennsylvania, the 
Delawares; in New Jersey, the Leni Lenape; in New 
York, the Onondagos, Oneidas, Mohawks, Manhattans ; in 
the Eastern States, the Mohegans,Pequods, Massachusetts, 
Narragansetts ; in Ohio, the Eries ; in Michigan, the Otta- 
was ; in Wisconsin, the Sacs, Foxes, and Winnebagoes ; in 
Illinois, the Pottawatomies and Illinois ; in Kentucky, the 
Shawnees; in Tennessee, the Chickasaws and Cherokees; 
in Mississippi, the Natchez and Choctaws ; in Alabama, 
the Muscogees ; in Florida, the Seminoles. 

Each of these nations held its own territory in its own 
its demoralizing right, governing itself according to its own 
and fatal eftects. max i mgj declaring peace and war against its 


neighbors at its own pleasure. They therefore present a 
spectacle of the results to which such principles lead — ran 
unsettled social life, interminable warfare, and its inevi- 
table consequence, an avoidance of industrial pursuits, and 
a sparse population kept down by a high death-rate. 

On the contrary, in Mexico, where an advance had been 
The progress of m &de beyond these low, rudimentary politi- 
^teS?f n c d en r tJ5- ca l ideas, and the value of concentration had 
been discerned, a population of from ten to 
fifteen millions had collected round its political centre, 
and was living in a condition of civilization equal to that 
of the most advanced nations of Europe. It had at- 
tained to forms of life, religious conceptions, and ideas of 
statesmanship analogous to those of the Old World. It 
was destroyed because it had no swift beast of burden 
such as the horse, and no mechanical agent answering to 
gunpowder. The civilization of Mexico was a civilization 
without a vehicle or a plow. 

Had there survived on the continent of North America 
but one of the three species of camel, or of the four species 
of horse, that became extinct just previously to the ap- 
pearance of man, the social condition would have been 
very different. As it was, even with this great disadvan- 
tage, the Indians on the eastern incline of the Mississippi 
Valley, under the influence exerted upon them by the 
rivers of their country, were slowly attaining to better 
political conceptions. Confederacies were springing up 
among them. They had learned the value of the calu- 
met, or pipe of peace. 

The descending steps from state sovereignty to county 
sovereignty, village sovereignty, individual sovereignty, 
are successive and inevitable. Under other but equiva- 
lent names they are recognized in Indian polity. Each 
savage was animated by a passion for personal liberty, 
asserting his own right to follow his natural propensities. 


There was no such thing as domestic discipline ; chil- 
dren were never trained — they were educated by Nature. 
The boy grew up into a mere warrior, leading a life of 
idleness except when engaged in hunting or war. There 
being no slaves, the women were turned into drudges, 
and compelled to perform not only the needful duties of 
the wigwam, but also the labors of a wretched agricul- 
ture. Enveloped in thin strips of bark, the infant was 
carried by its mother on her back ; if she died, her living 
child was buried with Jier. Every where polygamy was 
permitted; in the colder climates it was less frequently 
practiced. No virtuous ideas — no refined sentiments 
could exist where men, women, and children dwelt and 
slept together in the same smoky wigwam. The North- 
ern tribes were decimated by famine every winter ; they 
sat shivering in their huts, or sought in the woods a pre- 
carious support on moss and bark. If the pressure was 
severe, the aged and the sick were put to death. 

Two occupations only were considered worthy of a 
± ,. ., ., man — the public council and war. To the 

Individualism car- r 

among theAuSfc council every one was admitted; every one 
might deliver his own ideas as he pleased, or 
express his opposition. Traditional opinions descended 
so feebly as to be almost of no weight. Movements were 
determined by the passion or caprice of the moment. 
There was a lawless life, a hatred of restraint, an impa- 
tience at prohibitory rules and forms of government. 
Each man asserted his own rights and avenged his own 
wrongs. Subordination was accepted only because it 
was conducive to individual ease. A chief did not nec- 
essarily attain his position either by force of merit or by 
right of birth ; he was often merely tolerated. As must 
be the case through the influence of climate, the Southern 
nations displayed a tendency to aristocratic distinctions. 
The Natchez, and others who inhabited what are now 


known as the Cotton States, exhibited a striking contrast 

in this respect to the Indians of the Great Lakes and those 

of New England. This contrast of the ab- 

dvmiitiSn Jlthey original nations was remarked in La Salle's 

lived more and j, , ^ -. -, .-, , T 

more toward the vovage. father Zenobe describes the In- 
south • AT1T ' • ... . 

dians of Illinois, m the vicinity of Peoria, as 
addicted to gross vices, and not to be impressed by relig- 
ions teaching ; those of Arkansas as being more gay, gen- 
erous, hospitable ; those still farther south as advanced 
much more in civilization, their cabins well constructed, 
embellished, and furnished, their public occasions conduct- 
ed with much ceremonial- by officials in robes of white, 
and servitors wdth fans of white plumes. 

On the Mexican plateau the aristocratic tendency was 

manifested by the establishment of monarch- 
of North American ical institutions. The imperial government 

Indian civilization. . •-1-1 01 

of the Aztecs was sustained by a powerful 
standing army. It had an organized priesthood, whose 
creed and ritual displayed the inevitable phases through 
which the opinions of human societies pass. Justice was 
administered to communities consisting of many millions 
of people by judges holding their offices for life, and in- 
dependent of the court. The laws of the realm were 
embodied in a peculiar form of w r riting. An advanced 
social condition was indicated by monastic institutions, a 
postal service, trades of all kinds, market-days and fairs, 
colleges of music, a censorship on philosophical composi- 
tions, luxurious banquets, tapestries of feather-work, fount- 
ains, cascades, baths, statues. The Mexicans had theatres 
and shows, and all the busy industry, relaxations, and 
amusements of civilized life. 

Such w^as the geographical distribution and political 
itwasthecentreof condition of the Indian tribes on this conti- 
nent at the time of its discovery. I may re- 


peat the remark previously made, that the centre of this 
population was in Mexico, the outlying volume of it be- 
ing so sparse, so insignificant, that in a general survey it 
is hardly worth notice. As a striking illustration, it may 
be mentioned that the number of men employed in the 
single work of the construction of the imperial Aztec pal- 
ace at Tezcuco was greater than the entire number of hu- 
man beings, men, women, and children, east of the Missis- 
sippi River. 

Then it is not wonderful that the Jesuit missionaries 
„ u ... failed in their undertaking. There was not a 

Result of the _ © 

KeMisSp^ 8 population dense enough for them to operate 
Valley * upon. By degrees they themselves detected 

the misconception under which they had labored. They 
speak of the " appalling journeys through absolute soli- 
tudes ;" they represent their vocation as " a chase after a 
savage who was scarce ever to be found." The result of 
the French movement was, then, not the civilization of 
the Indian tribes, but the geographical exploration of a 
long line, marked out for the most part by the St. Law- 
rence and the Mississippi Rivers, with colonies at its ex- 
tremities in Canada and Louisiana. In 1688 the total 
French population of the North American continent was 
11,249 persons. 

At this time, therefore, the French completely hemmed 
in the English settlements ; they practically 

The pressure of the ° i ri t 

fhe e E C ngii sh Atfan? ^^ G ^ m to the valleys of the St. Lawrence 
the s ?esui 1 Sug t coi- nd and the Mississippi. The collisions between 
lisions. the p renc j 1 an( j t h e English colonists in 

1690-97, and in 1702-13, were very appropriately named 
King William's and Queen Anne's Wars, for they were 
occasioned by the policy of the mother country. The 
same remark applies to the war that was closed in 1748 
by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. There was more signif- 
icance in that of 1754, because it arose from the pressure 


of the English Atlantic settlements against the chain of 
military posts established by the French to maintain their 
communications between Canada and Louisiana. The 
French, on that occasion, claimed the whole country be- 
tween the line of the Ohio and the Alleghany Ridge, thus 
virtually compressing the English on the Atlantic border. 
This French war, as it is styled, involved great American 
interests, and is celebrated in American history not only 
because it introduced Washington as a mil- 

Cession by France © 

vaiie> S to th^Eng - 6 itary commander, but because it determined 
the destiny of America through the capture 
of Quebec by Wolfe, the conquest of Canada, and event- 
ual cession, at the peace of Paris in 1763, of the Valley 
of the St. Lawrence and its dependencies to the English 
L— K 



Two principles animated the English colonization of America: 1st. Material inter- 
ests ; 2d. Ideas. The former were concerned in the colonization of the South, 
the latter in that of the North. 

Southern society was from the beginning based upon class distinctions ; it accepted 
slavery with avidity, and tended to aristocratic forms. Northern was based upon 
equal individual rights, corporeal and mental ; it tended to individualism, and to 
democratic institutions. 

The course of events in England, particularly during 
the reign of Henry VII., had prepared that 

The English join in ° . . /, . • ,t - ... 

maritime adven- country to loin with vigor m the maritime 
adventures and commercial undertakings in 
which Western Europe had engaged. The English colo- 
nization of the Atlantic front of America eventually ob- 
literated completely the influence of France and Spain 
throughout that region. 

Two distinct principles animated the English move- 
«. . , , . ments. The colonization of the South was 

Principles of colo- 

NorthTnd'in the inspired by material interests, that of the 
south. North by ideas. The great communities 

which have descended from those immigrations exhibit 
to this day, in a modified but striking manner, the pecul- 
iarities of their respective ancestral stocks. These pecul- 
iarities have been brought into strong relief by the civil 

I shall consider the immigration conducted upon mate- 
M ' .. , rial interests — the Southern immigration — 

Of Southern colo- o 

nization ; it is in- -fi-no-f- 
spired by material 1LL ° L * 

interests. ^ e k ave geen ^t ^ i nce ntive to the 

movements of Spain in America was gold, and that of 


France the fisheries. The incentive of England was to- 

Tobacco, so called from the island of Tobago, where it 
was first obtained, was carried to England by 

Introduction, diffa- ci'TT* 'T^i it i^'i^i' 

sion, and uses of bir Jj rancis Drake, and brought into fasnion- 

tobacco. . *-; 

able use by Sir Walter Raleigh. A " Coun- 
terblast," published against it by King James I., added 
not a little to its celebrity. Less noxious in its narcotic 
effect than opium, so long employed in Eastern countries, 
it is affirmed that " it calms the agitations of our corpo- 
real frame, and soothes the anxieties and distresses of the 
mind." This leaf is equally welcome to the Indian in 
his wigwam, to the Laplander in his snow hut, to the 
Egyptian in his sands. It consoles the polished Europe- 
an in his hours of relaxation. 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the whole Atlantic 
T K , K .. coast, from Halifax to Cape Fear, passed un- 

Institution of two > r t r 

Ses n the n L C ndon a " der the designation of Virginia. James I. 
and the Plymouth. granted it by cnarter to tw o companies for 

settlement. The Southern portion was given to the Lon- 
don Company, the Northern to the Plymouth. 

Some insignificant attempts had been made by Raleigh 
to colonize North Carolina. That officer en- 

Raleigh's coloniza- . ~i /-\ t t t , i •i _ r> 

tiou operations in tered Ocracoke Inlet, and examined Koan- 

North Carolina. ' . 

oke Island. In 1585 he sent an expedition 
in seven vessels to the latter place. It is an indication 
of the imperfect geographical knowledge of the time that 
these immigrants believed the Roanoke River had its 
head waters in some golden rocks by the Pacific Ocean. 
The walls of a great city near its fountain were affirmed 
to be thickly studded with pearls. This colony, unsuc- 
cessful and disheartened, was subsequently carried back 
to England by Drake. Another attempt was made, but 
before 1590 it had failed. The character of these move- 
ments is indicated by the circumstance that, by the com- 


mand of Raleigh, Manteo, a faithful Indian chief, was cre- 
ated Lord Roanoke. Offshoots from the Virginia planta- 
tions established themselves in North Carolina between 

The colonization of Virginia in 1607 was under the 
The colonization of charter from James I. to the London Com- 
virginia. pany. From that prince the chief river, yel- 

low and wide, and lazily flowing between pine-clad banks, 
derives its name. An expedition established itself at 
Jamestown. Its character may be understood from the 
description of persons who followed the pioneers. They 
were " goldsmiths, refiners, gallants, gentlemen, rakes, and 
libertines." After many vicissitudes, illustrated by such 
romantic incidents as an expedition up the river to the 
site of Richmond for the discovery of the Pacific Ocean, 
the adventures of Captain Smith with the Indian princess 
Pocahontas, the valuable exploration of Chesapeake Bay, 
its rivers and territories, the colony nearly became ex- 
tinct. So great were its misfortunes, that in six months 
after the departure of Smith, out of 490 persons only 60 
were left. Nothing but the increasing demand for tobac- 
co in Europe now sustained it. But that proved to be a 
sufficient incitement. Hunting after gold was abandoned ; 
plantations became profitable; women were induced to 
emigrate from England. The colonists gladly paid 120 
pounds of tobacco for a wife, 150 if she was very pretty. 

Among the events of those times there was one which 
introduction of ne- gave rise to fearful consequences. In Au- 

gro slaves. ^^ ^^ r j^^ ^ Qf ^ hrmght 

twenty negroes into the James River for sale. 

The profits of the tobacco-trade insured the prosperity 
of the colony, which in 1648 numbered 20,000 souls. 
The Royalist sentiments that had characterized the first 
settlers still predominated in the community, which was 
also firmly attached to the prevailing religious prefer- 


ences of the mother country ; for, though the Virginians 
had invited their Puritan neighbors on the North to leave 
their inclement abodes and settle in the more genial cli- 
mate of Delaware Bay, they also resolved that no minis- 
ter should be permitted to preach in Virginia except in 
conformity with the Church of England. It 

Virginia is devoted . , . . . • . -, , 

to the king and the was owing to this aristocratic tendencv that, 

Church. <=>. J > 

after the disasters to the royal cause and the 
execution of King Charles, so many of the ruined nobil- 
ity and clergy found refuge in Virginia. The political 
bearing of the colonization then taking place upon the 
Atlantic border is illustrated by this expatriation of Roy- 
alists to the South, and by the subsequent flight of the 
Regicides to the Puritan colonies of the North. The Roy- 
alist and the Regicide respectively knew where to find a 

But, though it is recorded of Virginia that she was the 
The contests about l as t portion of England to resign her affec- 

the tobacco-trade. ^ for j^ monarcll? an( J m ^ m [ t to fte 

commonwealth under Cromwell, she had not received 
from her sovereign an equivalent for her loyalty. There 
was a continual struggle between the king and the col- 
ony for the profits of the tobacco-trade. He desired to 
be sole factor, declaring it to be " his will and pleasure to 
have the sole pre-emption of all the tobacco." He pro- 
hibited all vessels from Virginia sailing to any ports but 
those of England, that he might have control of the trade. 
As tobacco thus tempted Royalist officers and persons 
of birth attached to the Church of England 
by hberai catho- to this emigration, the fur- trade led to the 

lies. ° ' 

settlement of Maryland. Lord Baltimore 
and the Catholic leaders of that enterprise, repulsed in 
their advances by the Protestantism of Virginia, turned 
to the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Admonished by the 
intolerance that had denied them a welcome, they gave 


to every one, irrespective of his religious opinions, a right 
to settle with them. Catholics though they were, they 
founded their society on religious freedom, and permitted 
of no persecuting laws. A change very soon came over 
their industrial pursuits. The peltry-trade was found to 
be transient, its supplies inadequate, and the more profit- 
able cultivation of tobacco took its place. 

South Carolina was colonized by an association of En- 
glish noblemen, under proprietary charters ; 

South Carolina set- 7^ 1*1 i -1 -1 , • a 

tied by an aristo- their obiect was a land speculation. Among 

cratic association. ° i- o 

them were Lord Clarendon, the Duke of Al- 
bemarle, Lord Craven, the Earl of Shaftesbury. Their 
possessions were defined by a frontage along the coasts 
of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and ex- 
tended due west as far as the Pacific Ocean. In this am- 
ple territory they were empowered to levy troops, erect 
fortifications, build cities, and, it is to be particularly re- 
marked, establish orders of nobility. Constitutions for 
its government were framed by the celebrated philos- 
opher Locke. Political power was based on hereditary 
wealth. The social system was founded on negro slav- 

The proprietors sent out a company of emigrants in 
character of its 1670, but hardly had they established them- 

immigrants. gelveg when ^^ foun( j ^ ^ Constitutions 

devised for them were impracticable. More suitable ones 
were substituted. The colony grew, not only by low 
emigrants sent from England, but by negro slaves brought 
from Africa. In a climate made congenial to them, the 
blacks rapidly increased; very soon they were nearly 
double the number of the whites. But besides these un- 
fortunates came others of a very different stamp. On the 
revocation of the edict of Nantes, Huguenots emigrated 
from the Calvinistic districts of France, and South Caro- 
lina received a leaven of French Protestant blood. 


The colonial nucleus of the Southern States was, there- 
fore, essentially an English population. The 

ofThe S Lt?re r sou e t r h- settlements of the French in Alabama, Mis- 
em colonization. . . . T . . »-, i -» t • 

sissippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, 
with the exception of those at the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi, had but little political weight. The predominating 
development of this English nucleus is seen in the pre- 
dominating use of the English tongue. Diffusion of lan- 
guage is an unerring measure of the spread of political 
influence. That the French settlements in the Mississip- 
pi Valley had no expansive force is proved by the event- 
ual disuse of their tongue. 

Though the actual emigrants may have been in one 

sense derived from all grades of English so- 

Continuous effect • . • ,-1 , -» , 1 nni 

of former English ciety, in another they were assorted. Ine 

civil dissensions. • m •-nil it tit 

civil war in England had accomplished a 
partition, the effects of which were perpetuated in Amer- 
ican history. Convulsions such as those through which 
that country had been passing divide communities to 
their lowest depths ; even illiterate men, who may not be 
able to decide intelligently the merits of a disputed point, 
spontaneously take sides with a party. That done, they 
deliver themselves up to the influences animating it, and 
are guided by its leaders and watchwords. No matter 

from what rank in life he had come, the 

These dissensions r^i i i c\± 1 "I J "I n l 

determine the char- Onurcn and btate man would hardly have 
ican colonization seen in Massachusetts Bay a place for his 

North and South. ... J * 

immigration — the Puritan would not have 
preferred James River. Aristocratic influence was the 
motive power of Southern emigration ; it sought material 
profit in tobacco and land speculations. 

The colonization of the North of the republic differed 
of Northern colon- intrinsically from that of the South. It was 

ization— it is in-. • t i • i n l n i 

spired by an idea, inspired by an idea — treedom ot thought. 


Not that the austere men who asserted this intellectual 
right understood it in all its fullness. At first, in the 
face of outlawry, exile, tempest, famine, death, they only 
claimed it for themselves. It was by degrees they learned 
at length that they must concede it to others. 

When, in the sixteenth century, the pent-up dissatisfac- 
tion that for ages had been fermenting against 

Influence of the ,-i -r% /-n it , , • ,-i , . 

Reformation upon the Koman (Jhurcn burst out m that great 
moral and intellectual revolt — the Reforma- 
tion — its issue was an ecclesiastical separation of Europe 
north and south. On one side it was the assertion of 
traditional authority, on the other of the right of private 

The Pontifical government had long foreseen the inev- 
itable occurrence of this dispute, and had repeatedly put 
off what to it could be no other than a catastrophe. 
Sometimes it had accomplished this by violence, some- 
times by gentler means. Pontifical Rome had effected 
what Imperial Rome had dreamed of, but could never re- 
alize. She was holding all Europe under her control. 

But the northern nations, by force of argument and by 
force of arms, made good their separation. The unity 
that so far had obtained was broken. Two great divis- 
ions emerged, the Catholic and the Protestant. 

Among those nations England had been profoundly 
origin of dissent in agitated. When the inevitable result— sep- 
Engiand. aration from Italy — became apparent, her 

statesmen proceeded in the best manner they could to re- 
organize her ecclesiastical affairs in harmony with the 
new condition of things. They hoped that the English 
people would show the same filial reverence for the new 
Church of England that in times past they had shown 
for the old Church of Rome. 

But when once the charm of authority is broken, who 
can renew it ? When separation has been successfully 


commenced, who can say where it shall stop ? The prin- 
ciple of the right of private interpretation of the Holy 
Scriptures had been successfully maintained by Northern 
Europe. As a social guide, it still retained its full vigor 
unimpaired. The foresight of the Italian statesmen was 
justified. Decomposition could not be arrested, and as 
the Church of Rome had suffered by protest, the Church 
of England now suffered by dissent 

The Puritan asserted the right of men to interpret for 
themselves the Word of God. In him the 

The position main- t% n , • -t t i 

tained by Puritan- Keiormation advanced another step toward 

ism. ... ± 

its logical issue. He did against England 
what England herself had done against Rome. 

N«w the particular doctrines that found favor in the 
eyes of the Puritan are not of special interest in the af- 
fairs which we are about to consider. The points we 
have to deal with are the principle that was guiding him, 
and the acts it led him to perform. The doctrines of the 
Puritan are of no historical moment, but his deeds will 
last as long as the world endures. 

The annals of northern colonization are as follows : 

progress of Pari- I n 1607 the Plymouth Company sent a col- 
tan colonization. Qny to t]ie moutll f the Kennebec ; in 1615, 

John Smith, who had played such a conspicuous part in 
the emigration to James River, led another. Both proved 
failures. In 1620 the colony of Plymouth was planted 
by English Puritans, who came for that purpose from 
Holland. Eight years subsequently the colony at Salem 
was established, under a grant from the Plymouth Com- 
pany ; soon afterward Charlestown and Boston were set- 
tled. In 1692 the Plymouth colony was incorporated 
with Massachusetts, as had been those of Dover, Ports- 
mouth, and Exeter, in New Hampshire, in 1641. Maine, 
which had been settled in 1639, was united to Massachu- 
setts in 1652. Connecticut was first settled from Massa- 


chusetts, as likewise was Rhode Island, in consequence of 
the persecutions befalling Roger Williams on account of 
his carrying the Puritan doctrines to their legitimate end. 
In 1643, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven 
formed a union, under the title of the United 
ism m the Puritan Colonies of New England, their obiect being 

colonies. . ° . 7 . «* <-> 

mutual protection against the Dutch and the 
Indians. This union foreshadowed that greater Union 
soon to come. 

In the colonization of New England, Massachusetts was, 

therefore, the centre of action, and Puritan- 

Relation of the Pu- . -. , -r» • 

church the English lsm the predominating element. Puritan was 
originally the generic designation for all those 
Christians who saw cause to dissent from the principles 
and practice of the Church of England. It was first used 
about 1564. As in the great European movement — the 
Reformation — the objective point of the protesting na- 
tions was opposition to the papacy, so in this local En- 
glish movement the objective point was opposition to the 
Established Church. The continued action of the princi- 
ple of decomposition was, however, soon manifest. The 
Puritans broke up into sectarian subdivisions. The In- 
dependents carried the doctrine of the Reformation a step 
forward, asserting the right of every congregation to 
judge for itself both in matters of doctrine and disci- 
pline. They therefore denied the authority of any na- 
tional church whatever. 

The Church of England was thus forced to adopt the 
policy of coercion that had been followed 

That Church re- „ i_ jv /Tl l o ~r> 

sorts to persecution lor many past ages by the Cnurcn or Kome. 

to repress dissent. 1 n -rvi • -i 1 m 

The laws of Elizabeth compelled dissen- 
tients to attend the established worship. Against the 
" Brownists" the punishment of death was enacted. It 
is said that Brown, their founder, was committed to jail 
thirty-two times. 


To escape the persecution thus inflicted upon them by 

The puritans adopt the Church and the sovereign, a Puritan con- 
Repubiicanism. gregat i on m tne nortn f England fled to 

Holland in 1607. They made their escape by night, and, 
though their women and children were seized, they all 
eventually arrived in safety at Leyden, where they estab- 
lished themselves, and dwelt for eleven years. It was 
not surprising that, in such an atmosphere of republican 
ideas, these exiles, who had fled from the king as well as 
the Church, should add Republicanism to their religious 
dissent. The Puritans in England had likewise adopted 
the same views, perhaps through the influence of the 
Swiss theologians. In this manner they became advo- 
cates of liberty and men of progress. 

The attention of the exiles in Holland having been di- 
rected to America as a field better suited to 

Emigration of the -. . . , -, 

Puritans in the tneir views, tnev made arrangements to emi- 

Mayflower. n t i 

grate, and, after many delays and misfortunes, 
crossed the Atlantic in the " Mayflower," and established 
themselves at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620. It was 
December 11th when they landed. So dreadful were 
their sufferings, that, before the return of spring, half the 
emigrants had perished. At one time there were but 
seven persons able to render- duty. 

In 1629, under the auspices of the Council of Plymouth, 

Growth of the Pu- an( l °f a charter granted by Charles I., the 
ritan colonies. Englisn p ur i tans na d their attention direct- 
ed to the feeble colony that was thus maintaining itself 
in the Bay of Cape Cod. Regarding those favorable au 
spices as a summons from heaven, an active emigration 
set in. At first a body of 200 established itself at Salem. 
By the advice of persons of enlarged minds, the charter 
of the Council of Plymouth was transferred to New En- 
gland by the emigration of the corporate body, and, 
though there were doubts as to the legality of the step, 


its consequence was the instant success of the Massachu- 
setts colony. Seventeen ships, with 1500 emigrants, more 
than half of them Independents, at once crossed the At- 
lantic. The settlement of Boston was established. Twen- 
ty-one thousand persons had reached New England be- 
fore 1640. Puritanism and Kepublicanism were firmly 
seated in Northeastern America. 

The freedom of thought that the Puritans had thus se- 
cured for themselves they were unwilling to 
semtion to repress concede to others. Their maxim was that 


social harmony, and, indeed, the very exist- 
ence of the state, turn on uniformity of belief. Of course, 
theirs were the only orthodox views. They pursued one 
of their body, Roger Williams, with mortal animosity, for 
asserting the absolute independence of the soul, and the 
unlawfulness of persecution for the cause of conscience. 
It was this that led, as has been stated, to the coloniza- 
tion of Rhode Island. In these events we witness the 
result foreseen by the Italian statesmen — the inevitable 
progress of dissent. The Puritans insisted on freedom 
of thought for themselves as against the Established 
Church; the Independents asserted it for every congre- 
gation ; Roger Williams for each individual man. We 
see, too, how irresistible is the resort to persecution. The 
Church of Rome, in its own defense, persecuted the Re- 
formers ; the Reformed Church of England, for a like 
reason, persecuted the Puritans ; and, for a like reason, 
the Puritans persecuted the founder of Rhode Island. 

In speaking of the influence of climate on plants (page 
88), it has been stated that the zone upon which each 
special form is distributed has necessarily two sides ; they 
can not pass one of these sides because the heat is too 
great ; they can not pass the other because of the cold. 

So, likewise, in considering the distribution of men : 


for those in warm regions the controlling 

The isothermal 

zone of Puritan- agent is the summer heat, lor those in high- 
er latitudes the winter cold. The inhabit- 
ants of the shores of the Gulf struggle against a high tem- 
perature, those of New England against a low tempera- 
ture. In the case of the former we had to deal with the 
July isothermals, in the case of the latter we must deal 
with those of January. 

Had the Puritans settled in the Southern States they 
would have become extinct. They settled above the Jan- 
uary isothermal of 41° (see map, page 112), the line that 
marks the boundary of intellectual freedom. They pros- 
pered because Nature was propitious. 

If we seek, in the history of Europe, prognostics of the 
probable course of the Puritan colonies of 

It is occupied by A . . , . , -, . 

the Teutonic na- America, our attention must be mamlv di- 

tions in Europe. ' . . J 

rected to the Teutonic nations, the people 
who on that continent inhabit the corresponding zone. 
They have ever been inclined in their political conceptions 
to representative systems ; they do not look with disfavor 
on republican institutions ; they rely on trial by jury. In 
religion they desire freedom of thought ; in worship, sim- 
plicity. Of an inventive turn, with them have originated 
many of those invaluable applications of the discoveries 
of physical science to civil life and industrial art that are 
the glory of our times. Firmly believing in the advan- 
tages of education, they seek to secure it for their rising 
generations as far as their political institutions will per- 
mit. They view polygamy with abhorrence ; their hatred 
of human slavery is almost fanatical. 

In' view of the characteristics exhibited by this type 
of humanity, not without admiration do we look on the 
widened spread of the zone it inhabits in Europe ; not 
without regret on its narrowness in America ; and, recall- 
ing the history of that continent, not with surprise at 


its insignificance in Asia. As shown in map, 
tion of that zone page 112, the maximum width of this zone in 

in Asia. . . 

America is only one third of what it is in 
Europe ; in Asia it is only one fourth, except in China, 
where it at least equals, if it does not exceed the Ameri- 
can proportion. From the Caspian Sea, as it were from a 
focus, these isothermals spread out like a vast open fan 
over Europe, diverging from one another as they go to 
the northwest ; in America they are curves compressed 
together, and concave to the north ; in Asia they are in 
still closer proximity, and run in lines that are almost- 
straight and parallel. Their diverging distribution in 
Europe is produced by the Gulf Stream. 



The pressure exerted by the French settlements and military posts in the Valleys 
of the St. Lawrence and Mississippi constrained the English colonies on the At- 
lantic to consider measures for mutual protection and union. 

A plan was proposed at Albany for converting the disconnected colonies into a na- 
tion, and for making their union obligatory and perpetual by act of Parliament. 

Biography of Franklin, considered as the representative man of the closing colonial 

The influence of France as an American continental 
power was not obliterated without leaving 

The influence of . 

France in colonial a UlOSt important effect On the English COl- 
American history. t A . i ' 

omes. Those colonies were compressed upon 
the Atlantic border by a chain of French military es- 
tablishments extending from the mouth of the St. Law- 
rence to that of the Mississippi. From the political writ- 
ings of Dr. Franklin we may gather a clear view of the 
condition of affairs. 

He says " that the great country back of the Appala- 
chian Mountains, on both sides of the Ohio, 
nS onh egrets- and between that river and the lakes, is now 
on the English coi- known both to the English and the French 

onies. # ° 

to be one of the finest in North America for 
the extreme richness and fertility of the land, the healthy 
temperature of the air and mildness of the climate, the 
plenty of hunting, fishing, and fowling, the facility of 
trade with the Indians, and the vast convenience of in- 
land navigation, or water carriage, by the lakes and great 
rivers many hundreds of leagues around." 

" From these natural advantages it must undoubtedly, 
perhaps in less than another century, become a populous 


and powerful dominion, and a great accession of power 
either to England or to France." 

" The French are now making open encroachments on 
those territories in defiance of our known rights, and if 
we longer delay to settle that country, inconveniences 
and mischiefs will probably follow. Our people, being 
confined to the country between the Appalachian Mount- 
ains and the Atlantic, can not much more increase in num- 
ber, but the French will increase by that acquired room 
and plenty of subsistence, and become a great people be- 
hind us. Our debtors, servants, slaves, will desert to 
them, strengthening them and weakening us ; they will 
cut us off from commerce and alliance with the Western 
Indians, and set those Indians, as they have heretofore 
done, to harass our people." 

He therefore advocates the establishment of two strong 
English colonies between the Ohio and Lake 

He insists on the -ri • /v» • jIjji t i • 

necessity of check- Jirie, ainrming; that tnev would give securitv 

ing their power. ' ° n t\ • 

to the back-settlements of Pennsylvania, Ma- 
ryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, by preventing the ex- 
cursions of the French ; they would also prevent " the 
dreaded junction of the French settlements in Canada 
with those in Louisiana," and in case of a war it would 
be easy for them to annoy Louisiana by going down the 
Ohio and Mississippi ; and also through these channels 
and the lakes a great interior trade might be carried on. 
Drawing attention to the fact that the grants to most 

of the colonies are of long, narrow strips of 
cnrtaffinfjf the land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and 

old colonies and , n ~ tit jV • 

the establishment therefore oi an unmanageable shape — tneir 

of new ones. . ° ■ x 

extremes being too far asunder — he proposes 
to take the Appalachian Mountains as a limit, and have 
new colonies on the western slope of those mountains 
down to the Mississippi River. 

After the conquest of Canada by the English, an influ- 


ential party in England favored its restoration to the 

French, preferring the retention of certain of 

to e restor n e cala a da the "West India Islands. On this occasion 

to the French. i «t i 

franklin wrote, with great ability, that "to 
leave the French in possession of Canada when it is in 
onr power to remove them, and to depend on our own 
strength and watchfulness to prevent the mischiefs that 
may attend it, is neither safe nor prudent." " Canada in 
the hands of France has always stunted the growth of 
our colonies, and has disturbed the strongest of them by 
compelling an expenditure of two or three millions ster- 
ling every year." 

There lay at the bottom of this desire to restore Cana- 
da to the French, and throw away the glori- 

Its intention was to n ttt ir> i i i 

restrain colonial ous conquest ot Wolfe, a very remarkable 

development. x -i /» i 

reason. If the I rench were left there they 
would check the growth of the colonies, which otherwise 
would "extend themselves almost without bounds into 
the inland parts, and increase infinitely from all causes, 
becoming a numerous, hardy, and independent people, 
possessed of a strong country, communicating little or not 
at all with England, living wholly on their own labor, 
and, in process of time, knowing little and inquiring little 
about the mother country." " In short, the present colo- 
nies are large enough and numerous enough, and the 
French ought to be left in North America to prevent 
their increase, lest they become not only useless, but dan- 
gerous to Britain." On this Franklin remarks, " It is very 
true that the colonists were increasing amazingly, doub- 
ling their number every twenty-five years by natural gen- 
eration only, exclusive of emigration." He states that 
" in a century more, the number of English in America 
will probably be greater than that in England itself, but 
that it does not follow that they will become either use- 
less or dangerous to the mother country ; on the contra- 
L— L 


ry, they will increase the demand for her manufactures, 

increase her trade, and add greatly to her naval power." 

Subsequently, however, it was generally thought in En- 

The retention of gl an( l that the retention of Canada had been 

ed a ^be c amis- er " a serious political mistake; "had not the 

take. French been removed from Canada, the 

American Revolution could never have taken place;" 

"the Americans would have had something else to do 

than revolt." 

The compression exerted by the French previously to 
the conquest of Canada was, however, the 

Early attempt of . ... n , 

the colonies to immediate cause of those preparatory at- 

form a Union. , . 

tempts which, though at first abortive, event- 
ually matured in " the Union," and hence the remark is 
justified that they left a permanent impress on the desti- 
ny of the colonies. The "Albany papers" of Dr. Frank- 
lin present the facts very plainly. 

The English Board of Trade, desirous that all the prov- 
inces should make a common treaty with the Six Nations 
of Indians, recommended them to form a plan of union 
which might also serve for their mutual protection and 
defense against the French. The plan which on this oc- 
casion was offered by Dr. Franklin at the Albany meet- 
ing was, however, rejected by all the colonial assemblies, 
because it was considered by them to have too much pre- 
rogative in it ; in England it was rejected as being too 

Dr. Franklin, in his Albany papers, says that " com- 
missioners from a number of the Northern 

The Albany com- 1 • i • ^jaii i • n 

missioners assert colonies being met at Al bany, and consider- 

its necessity. t ••-it 

ing the difficulties that have always attended 
the most necessary general measures for the common de- 
fense or for the annoyance of the enemy, when they were 
to be carried through the several particular assemblies of 
all the colonies, some assemblies being before at variance 


with their governors or councils, and the several branches 
of the government not on terms of doing business with 
each other ; others taking the opportunity, when their 
concurrence is wanted, to push for favorite laws, powers, 
or points, that they think could not at other times be ob- 
tained, and so creating disputes and quarrels ; one assem- 
bly waiting to see what another will do, being afraid of 
doing more than its share, or desirous of doing less, or re- 
fusing to do any thing, because its country is not at pres- 
ent so much exposed as others, or because another will 
reap more immediate advantage — from one or other of 
which causes the assemblies of six (out of seven) colonies 
applied to had granted no assistance to Virginia when 
lately invaded by the French, though purposely convened, 
and the importance of the occasion earnestly urged upon 
them ; considering, moreover, that one principal encour- 
agement to the French, in invading and insulting the 
British- American dominions, was their knowledge of our 
disunited state, and of our weakness arising from such 
want of union, and that from hence different colonies 
were at different times extremely harassed, and put to 
great expense both of blood and treasure, who would 
have remained in peace if the enemy had had cause to 
fear the drawing on themselves the resentment and pow- 
er of the whole ; the said commissioners considering also 
the present encroachments of the French, and the mis- 
chievous consequences that may be expected from them, 
if not opposed with our force, came to a unanimous reso- 
lution that a union of the colonies is absolutely necessary 
for their preservation" 

The manner of forming and establishing this union 
was the next point. When it was considered 

Their plan for mak- ,-i , ,n -1 • -> -, 11 • 1 

mg it perpetually that tne colonies were seldom all m equal 

binding. . ^*- 

danger at the same time, or equally near the 
danger, or equally sensible of it ; that some of them had 


particular interests to manage with which a union might 
interfere, and that they were extremely jealous of each 
other, it was thought impracticable to obtain a joint 
agreement of all the colonies to a union in which the ex- 
pense and burden of defending any of them should be 
divided among them all ; and even if acts of assembly 
could be obtained in all the colonies for that purpose, 
yet, as any colony on the least dissatisfaction might repeal 
its own act, and thereby withdraw itself from the union, 
it would not be a stable one, or such as could be depend- 
ed on ; for if only one colony should, on any disgust, with- 
draw itself, others might think it unjust and unequal that 
they, by continuing in the union, should be at the ex- 
pense of defending a colony which refused to bear its 
proportionate part, and would therefore, one after an- 
other, withdraw, till the whole crumbled into its original 
parts ; therefore the commissioners came to another reso- 
lution, viz., " That it was necessary the union should be 
established by act of Parliament, so as to make it irre- 
versible. 1 '' 

It was proposed by some of the commissioners to form 
the colonies into two or three distinct 

Their intention • ■» . .-% ■% -t -t 

was to convert the unions, but the proposal was dropped even 

disconnected colo- _ ■ , ' . i »j /» -i 

nies into one na- by those that made it tor several reasons, 

tion. J 

and among others for this, that a single union 
was desirable , since from this the colonies would learn to 
consider themselves not as so many independent states, but 
as members of the same nation. 

It is interesting, after the lapse of more than a century, 
to read these details, though the main plan for the time 
being miscarried. They are illuminated by the light cast 
on them from the civil war. The necessity of one union — 
the danger of secession — the need of a central authorita- 
tive body such as Parliament then was to insure compul- 
sory permanence, are things of as great interest now as 
they were when Franklin wrote. 

Chap. IX.] FRANKLIN. 165 

In considering the history of any race, very valuable 
Bio h of indications of the social condition atparticu- 
Frankim. j ar gpQ^g ma y \, e obtained from the lives of 

distinguished or representative men. The intellectual 
position of colonial America may in this manner be de- 
termined, and certainly, among the conspicuous men of 
the times, no one more perfectly or characteristically rep- 
resents his country than Franklin, who in the preceding 
pages has been serving us as a guide. 

Descended from Puritan ancestors, he was born in Bos- 
He i S of puritan ton in 1706, his father having emigrated 
from England to America in 1682 to enjoy 
the exercise of religion with freedom. By his mother's 
side, also, he might boast of a Puritan descent, for she 
was the daughter of one of the earliest New England 
settlers, of whom honorable mention is made by Cotton 
Mather in his Ecclesiastical History, he being designated 
as " a Godly and learned Englishman." At ten years of 
age Franklin was taken to assist his father in his busi- 
ness, which was that of a tallow-chandler and soap-boiler ; 
but, disliking the trade, he was bound apprentice to his 
brother, who was a printer. 

While yet a mere youth, he abandoned the religious 
views in which he had been brought up by 

His religious views. .. . _ . ° ,, 

his parents, induced to this by some books 
that fell in his way. The opinions he thus adopted he 
appears to have held all his life, if we may judge from 
his conversation with the President of Yale College only 
five weeks before his decease, he being then in his eighty- 
fourth year. In this it may be said that he prefigured 
the change that has taken place in Boston, his native 
town, of which the religious conceptions prevailing at 
present would hardly have met with the approval of the 
Puritan fathers. 

Some dissensions happening between his brother and 


His life in Phiia- himself, he left Boston by stealth, and wan- 
deiphia. dered to Philadelphia. In the course of a 

few years, through diligence and frugality, he rose to com- 
petence, becoming a prominent public man in the com- 
munity among whom he had thus been cast. In his Au- 
tobiography he naively relates the means to which he 
resorted to insure success. He had founded a club, or 
junto, consisting of twelve persons, each of whom was 
the head of another subordinate club. When, therefore, 
he desired to carry any special project, the organization 
with which he was thus connected enabled him readily 
to accomplish his purpose. In this he was also great- 
ly aided by a newspaper he had established. He was, 
perhaps, the first person in America who used the press 
for the purpose of what is now termed " manufacturing 
public opinion." 

The means to which he was thus resorting necessarily 
led him, in the disputes occurring between the proprie- 
tary government and the people, to take part with the 
latter. He soon became their most influential and per- 
sistent champion, and the bias he thus received had prob- 
ably no little effect upon him in the greater conflict that 
soon occurred between the colonies and the British gov- 
ernment. In the early part of that contest he did not 
look with disfavor on the project, very generally advo- 
cated, that the colonies should send members to Parlia- 
ment, but at length, appreciating the imperfection and in- 
adequacy of that scheme, he became the stren- 
pionofthecoio- uous advocate of separation and independ- 

nies. x A 

ence ; and probably no man did more to pre- 
pare the way for that great result. His examination be- 
fore the House of Commons in 1766, in relation to the 
repeal of the Stamp Act, made every where a deep im- 
pression. His biographer, Mr. Sparks, referring to it, 
says : " The dignity of his bearing, his self-possession, the 

Chap. IX.] FRANKLIN. l(tf 

promptness and propriety with which he replied to each 
interrogatory, the profound knowledge he displayed upon 
every topic presented to him, his perfect acquaintance 
with the political condition and internal affairs of his 
country, the fearlessness with which he defended the late 
m s examination doings of his countrymen and censured the 
ho££ of c<?m- glish measures of Parliament, his pointed expres- 
sions and characteristic manner — all these 
combined to rivet the attention and excite the astonish- 
ment of his audience. There is no event in this great 
man's life more creditable to his talents and character, 
and more honorable to his fame, than this examination 
before the British Parliament. It is an enduring monu- 
ment of his wisdom, firmness, sagacity, and patriotism." 
In truth, Franklin was regarded all over Europe as not 
. . • only officially, but also individually, repre- 

Is regarded as the J J ' . . 

Ame e rlcanism e iS f senting his American countrymen. His bi- 
Europe. ography resembled their history. In both 

there was the rough struggle of early years, the attain- 
ment of prosperity by industry and frugality, an intense 
love of independence, a warm interest in public affairs. 
Though many of his later years were spent in England 
and France, he preserved all his American peculiarities. 
Lacretelle, speaking of the impression he made upon the 
French, observed : " They personified in him the republic 
of which he was the representative and legislator. They 
regarded his virtues as those of his countrymen, and even 
judged of their physiognomy by the imposing and serene 
traits of his own." 

No one appreciated more thoroughly than Franklin 
the advantages to be derived from a cultiva- 

His disposition to © 

Sovenes^use- tion °f physical science. He was the very 
fui purposes. prototype of the Yankee inventor. As soon 
as he had discovered a new principle or ascertained a 
new fact, he attempted to extract some practical benefit 

I g g FRANKLIN. [Sect. II. 

from it. His great discovery of the identity of lightning 
and electricity was forthwith followed by the invention 
of the lightning-rod for insuring the safety of buildings. 
As is often the case with those who devote themselves to 
the physical department of human knowledge, he held 
metaphysics in very light esteem. 

If in his political principles and actions Franklin com- 
pletely personifies his colonial countrymen, 

He is the personifi- . n -iiit n • i • i «i 

cation of his coio- the same remark holds good m his philo- 
sophical relations. Of all countries, America 
has profited most from the cultivation of natural science. 
Her vast material development is mainly owing to the 
advantages she has thence obtained. But science has not 
been the guide of her development alone ; it is likewise 
becoming the guide of all modern civilization. 

Franklin was the first to make known the existence 
and phenomena of the Gulf Stream ; he experimented on 
the production of cold by evaporation ; he discovered the 
progressive movement of American storms; but it was 
his identification of lightning and electricity 
tionofhis scientif- that gave him his great European celebrity. 

ic merit. ° , . ° x , J 

His merit consists, however, not m the sug- 
gestion of that identity, for others had suggested it before, 
but in devising the means of proof. He himself relates, 
in his Autobiography, that his earlier communications on 
Electricity, which he had caused to be read before the 
Royal Society of London, were received with but little 
consideration. That society, however, in due time made 
him the most ample and honorable amends. Unsolicited, 
they elected him a member of their body, and presented 
him the Copley medal, the highest distinction they have 
to bestow. 

The Royal Society has had no little to do with the ad- 
vancement of modern civilization. In the seventeenth 
century the tone of thought in England had greatly 


changed, and, relieved from ecclesiasticism by 

Institution and val- (1 . -, -1 • j • n , j1j1-|xT 

uabie services of the varied political events that had taken 

the Royal Society. x _ _ . .. 1 

place, several learned men had contracted a 
taste for the study of Nature. For mutual gratification 
and improvement they held weekly meetings, and were 
known by the title of the Invisible or Philosophical Col- 
lege. At first they encountered a great deal of popular 
and ecclesiastical prejudice, it being supposed that they 
were engaged in an unlawful prying into natural secrets, 
and that their pursuits had an irreligious or atheistic 
tendency. King Charles II., however, effectually sustain- 
ed them, for, having tastes of a like kind himself, he gave 
them a charter, and occasionally attended their meetings. 

Dr. Johnson, in " the Idler," says : " When the philoso- 
Dr. Johnson's criti- P ners of the seventeenth century were first 
cismsonit. congregated into the Eoyal Society, we are 

told that great expectations were raised of the sudden 
progress of useful arts. The time was supposed to be 
near when engines should turn by a perpetual motion, and 
health be secured by a universal medicine ; when learn- 
ing should be facilitated by a common character, and 
commerce extended by ships which could reach their 
ports in defiance of the tempest. But that time never 
came. The society met and parted without any visible 
diminution of the miseries of life. The gout and stone 
were still painful; the ground that was not plowed 
brought forth no harvest ; and neither oranges nor grapes 
could grow upon the hawthorn." 

Had that great master of words been privileged to look 
through a century into the future, he would have seen 
the automatic engines to which he referred, and of whose 
advent he despaired, doing the mechanical drudgery of 
England, and accomplishing the work of perhaps a hund- 
red millions of men. He might, in defiance of the wind 
and tide, have crossed the Atlantic in little more than a 


week in one of those ships that he had been looking for 
in vain. Six miles an hour was very fair traveling for 
him ; now he might move at sixty. He might send mes- 
sages under the sea and over the mountains in an almost 
inappreciable time. And perhaps he might be willing to 
concede that the gout and the stone may some day be 
deprived of their terrors after he had witnessed lithoto- 
my, amputations, and other terrible operations of surgery 
performed on men purposely thrown into an unconscious 
and insensitive state, and the loathsome small-pox, the 
dread of his time, neutralized by resorting to vaccination. 
At the time of Franklin's great discovery (1752), the 
physical sciences and their applications to 

Position of the use- . !, . , . . . „ _ 

fui sciences at the industrial pursuits were on the point of mak- 

epoch of Franklin. . x , x 

mg a great advance. Chemistry, one of the 
most important of these sciences, was about to be remod- 
eled through the discovery of the true nature of the gases 
and the detection of latent heat. The immediate conse- 
quence of the latter was the invention .of the steam-en- 
gine, an invention which has entirely revolutionized the 
industrial arts. Ingenious mechanics began to turn their 
attention to the construction of labor-saving machinery, 
and in a short time the population, the manufactures, the 
„1 ■ ' • .; commerce, the wealth of England exhibited 

Wonderful results ... 

them n in d EngSnd a prodigious increase. Nor was America be- 
and America. hind England in that respect ; nay, more, in 
truth she was greatly in advance. By availing herself 
of the natural powers thus placed at her disposal, she has, 
in a little more than a century, nearly accomplished the 
settlement of the continent ; and the republic, from slen- 
der beginnings, has already attained the position of one of 
the great powers of the earth. Franklin's prophecy has 
come to pass — the majority of those who speak the En- 
glish tongue are now on the American side of the At- 



The English Atlantic population of the Northern States, relieved from French 
pressure, rapidly absorbed all other foreign populations, diffusing itself over the 
Alleghanies and descending the eastern incline of the Mississippi Valley. In 
this progress it suffered no Indian contamination, and was affected only by cli- 
mate, and by Irish and German immigration. Influence of the ideas of those 

The connection of the Northern population with Indian and African slavery was 
limited. Circumstances under which the conscience of Massachusetts was awak- 
ened to its wickedness. 

Placed thus, as has been described, upon the Atlantic 
Thedi ff u8ionofthe border, the populations of English descent 
Knrof^eMksls- began to diffuse toward the West. It re- 
quired, however, nearly sixty years from the 
time of which we have been speaking before they had 
fully gained the line of the Mississippi — a journey which 
was, as all first emigrations must be, destructive of human 
life. Men followed each other like the phantom waves 
made by the wind on the tall grasses of the prairies, for- 
ever disappearing and forever advancing. At last they 
reached the blue bluffs that mark out where the great 
river, through sand-banks and crumbling islands, flows 
lazily on its way. 

During this diffusion they may be considered as spread- 
ing over an unoccupied territory, and suffer- 
There was no con- . ° • -i i • i n t i • 

lamination from mg no essential disturbance from Indian 

Indian admixture. ° 

blood-admixture. The sparsely-scattered ab- 
original tribes were pressed out of their way, occasioning 
no race-contamination. Practically there were but two 
disturbing influences at work: 1st, their own interaction 


on each other, as members of different European nations 
whose race -peculiarities were still continuing in their 
American life ; 2d, modification from the new climate. 

In estimating the effect of the first of these disturb- 
Effect of race-inter- ances, it is to be borne in mind that in the 
intermingling of different types much will 
depend on their relative numbers. Practically a small 
tribe mixing with a large one will disappear so com- 
pletely that the traces of it will cease to be discoverable, 
although, in truth, it is not destroyed — its presence is 
only masked. A glass of water added to a glass of wine 
may be detected at once, but if it were mingled with a 
thousand gallons of wine the most experienced taster 
could never detect it, yet it is still present with all its 
qualities unimpaired. 

However, in human amalgamations, the intruding ele- 
ment may itself be undergoing climate modifications, and 
so, from moment to moment, losing its own identity, and 
approaching with greater or less rapidity the character 
of that with which it has united. 

We are too much in the habit of considering our pos- 
terity, and looking downward in race-inves- 

Rapid diminution .. .. ts» i*i ,i s^i • i 

of ancestral influ- tigations. It, like the Chinese, who rever- 
ence. - "I • 11 11 

ence their ancestry, we look upward, the true 

relation of successive generations is more clearly seen. 
Each person has two parents, from each of whom he has 
derived corporeal and mental lineaments ; of grandpar- 
ents he has four ; of great-grandparents eight — of ances- 
tors he has already fourteen. We go but a little way 
back before we find a million. In that vast congregation, 
what is the value of any single one ? In the mixture of 
blood and merging of character, how can we expect to 
trace any individual influence ? Moreover, in any nation 
or race, persons far separated from each other by class- 
distinction or other diversity may find in not a remote 



remove a common ancestor equally related to both, but 
without any resemblance to either. 

Upon the Atlantic border the vestiges of Swedish life 

underwent obliteration, and the same might 

Swedish, Spanish, almost be said as to the Spaniards at the 

French life. ■*■ 

South, and of whatever French there were at 
the North on this side of the St. Lawrence. An apparent 
exception occurred in the case of the Dutch ; for, though 
their lower classes readily assimilated with the English 
population, and so were lost, their higher, through the 
possession of landed estates, which, in spite of their sub- 
division, were continually increasing in relative value, 
were able to maintain an isolated condition. In New 
York they stood, and, indeed, still stand in the attitude 

of a local aristocracy, in the noblest accept- 

Social position of . „ , „ , p .,. x 

the descendants of ation oi that term i tor these families of 

the Dutch. \ . . . 

Dutch descent, and still retaining their Dutch 
names, have formed a nucleus round which whatever is 
socially respectable has spontaneously gathered. They 
have ever been upholders of religion, order, learning, de- 
voting themselves to affairs of patriotism, charitable un- 
dertakings, and the patronage of good works. 

But, their relative smallness of numbers and their lo- 
cal influence considered, the Dutch in New 
condition of Penn- York and New Jersey, and the Germans and 

sylvania. ^ 

Scotch -Irish in Pennsylvania, which of all 
the states is the least homogeneous, though they un- 
questionably give a character to the parts in which they 
settled, constitute no real exception to the remark that 
the description of the spread of population from the At- 
lantic border westwardly is substantially that of the dif- 
fusion of English life. It may be conveniently consid- 
ered under two heads: 1st. Northern diffusion; 2d. South- 
ern diffusion. 


1st. Of the progress of population at the North. 
For many years the current of emigration was compar- 
atively feeble. It was mainly derived from 
cd^?by n the North England, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany, 

from Europe. a • i • p i 

and continued at a nearly uniform annual 
rate from the Kevolution until about 1806. From 1784 
to 1794 the yearly rate was about 4000. In the latter 
year it rose to 10,000, but did not recover that point 
again until 1817. This falling off was due to the Euro- 
pean wars, which not only created an urgent demand for 
men both for the land and sea service, but also to the en- 
forcement of the principle at that time insisted upon by 
the English government that a subject could never throw 
off his allegiance. 

In 1817, when the fear of English impressment had 

passed away, immigration to the United 

dose of the Euro- States rose to 22,240. In this aggregate 

pean wars. .' A 

there were included many native-born Amer- 
icans, who, through the incidents of the war, had been de- 
tained in Europe, and were now returning. Due allow- 
ance made for this, the sudden impetus may be traced to 
the declining demand for men for military and naval pur- 
poses, the great derangement in the pursuits of the work- 
ing-classes as a state of war was exchanged for a state of 
peace, and the financial disturbances which were occur- 
ring or impending. 

The current now steadily gathered force. In 36| years, 
ending December 1st, 1855, the United States received 
nearly 4 \ millions of immigrants. Among these were 

1,348,682 British. 
1,206,087 Germans. 
207,492 English 

747,930 Irish. 

34,599 Scotch. 
188,725 French. 

Under the title " British," in this table, are included En- 

m , . . ,; glish, Scotch, and Irish, but the relative pro- 
Totai value of lm- o 7 7 7 ± 

migration. portions can not now be ascertained. Com- 

Chap. X.] SOCIAL GRADES. 175 

petent authorities, however, have been led to the conclu- 
sion that of these at least one million were from Ireland. 
This would make the total Irish emigration for that pe- 
riod 1,747,930. 

From the best estimates now accessible, it appears that 
the total immigration into the United States since the Rev- 
olution to the close of 1855 has been nearly 4^ millions. 

Immigrants up to Sept. 30th, 1819 250,000 

" " Dec. 31st, 1855 4,212,624 


In a general manner, it may therefore be affirmed that 
the United States have gained as much from Europe by 
immigration as Great Britain has lost from her domestic 
population by emigration to all countries. At the com- 
mencement of the civil war the number did not differ 
much from five millions. 

In considering the effect of such immigrations, we must 
bear in mind the statement of Machiavelli, 

Machiavelli's divis- -. . . , 

ion of society mto that m every great society there are necessa- 

three grades. i /» • -, 

my three orders of men: a superior order, 
who understand things through their own unassisted 
mental powers ; an intermediate order, who understand 
things when they are explained to them; a low order, 
who do not understand at all. Of the first it may be 
added that they are limited in number, but dominant 
through intelligence ; of the second, that, in modern coun- 
tries having free journalism, they fall under its influence, 
the man of this grade adopting the opinions of his ac- 
customed newspaper, and unconsciously retailing them as 
his own ; of the third, which is by far the most numerous, 
its members pass through life in a monotonous intellectual 
slumber — they think in monosyllables. 

The political effect of emigration depends on this con- 
dition : from which of these three orders has the emigra- 

ting mass issued. If the drain has been from the low- 

6 / 


Eeiative influence est > tne laboring class, the consequent result 
SraSSIn Su- may not amount to much, for the diminution 
of that class is capable of quick repair. The 
self-multiplying force of an old society is always greater 
than the number realized, which is kept down by resist- 
ing influences, and, just as the atmosphere will press into 
an exhausted space, so will that unsatisfied, that restrain- 
ed power of multiplication quickly fill up the vacancy 
that has thus been made. 

On the other hand, should the migrating body have di- 
minished seriously the number of the highest class, the 
result is a far more important, a far more permanent af- 
fair. A loss of the direct influence of these men is no in- 
considerable thing, for, no matter what may be the form 
of government the affected community may live under, 
they will and do control public thought. Still more, so- 
ciety has no means of recruiting at its pleasure the wasted 
ranks of this class ; such individuals appear at limited 
intervals, and only here and there. 

We have, therefore, to bear in mind that the effect of 
emigrations depends on the grade of society from which 
the emigrating mass has issued, being very different in 
the cases of the laboring and intellectual classes respect- 
ively; that homogeneousness in a community imparts 
stability, though it implies eventual stagnation ; that a 
community suffering incessant blood-disturbance will ex- 
hibit social activity, but if the disturbing element be very 
base, a corresponding depreciation in absolute value will 

In the Northern States the blood-disturbance in the 
old English settlers of the Atlantic border 

Special influence of,, , • -i ■ i i • • 

the Irish and Ger- has been, as we have said, through lmmigra- 

man immigration. 7 ' ° , -f ,„ 

tion. Its effect would be more marked it 
the stream did not flow mainly from Ireland and Ger- 
many, countries that are bound by the same annual iso- 


thermals that limit New York on the north and Wash- 
ington on the south. The movement which this class of 
population has to accomplish to come into correspondence 
with the new conditions is not great, but a careful observer 
will not fail to detect the retardation each fresh arrival 
impresses on the movement of its predecessors, and their 
corresponding detention in the lower intellectual states. 
The manner of thought of the whole community is less 
definite, its ideas less settled, its intentions less precise. 
The Atlantic States have been the chief seat from 
which has issued the emigration destined to 

Stationary condi- -. . -• -r Tr . c\ p^ ,i • • n 

tionofsomeoftne people the West, bo far as their agricul- 
tural population is concerned, many of them 
may be regarded as having passed into a stationary con- 
dition. Of this, Vermont may be taken as an example, its 
census report for 1860 being substantially the same as 
that for 1850. If the limit of land-support has thus been 
reached, any farther advance must be looked for from 
Rapidaeveiopment commercial and manufacturing avocations. 
of the new. r^e Northwestern States offer a striking con- 

trast ; in the same decade Illinois doubled its population. 
From the Atlantic States, in this manner, a very large 
portion of their population has been removed; in the gen- 
eral aggregate, about one fourth having emigrated. It is 
to be observed that the countries thus settled bear a re- 
semblance, social and political, to those from which their 
population was first derived, a fact pointing to the con- 
clusion that the abstraction made from the Atlantic States 
Effect on the At- nas ^ een * n a proportional manner from each 
Ihese emlgitfons of tne tnree social grades. The effect of this 
has been to keep those states intellectually 
in a stationary condition, and to retard the development 
they would otherwise have made. Society, retaining in 
them more or less completely its primitive interior bal- 
ance, has lost the advantage that would have been en- 
I— M 


joyed had the field of action been limited, the population 
more dense, the mental competition more violent. This 
is the explanation of the remark, so often made, that our 
material prosperity and our mental progress have not ad- 
vanced with an equal step. 

The emigrating mass also has been placed under extra- 
ordinary conditions. Peopling an uninhab- 
^ss e S?nXSter- ited region, it has suffered no deterioration 

ated, but is affected n i i i i • , •,-■ -% , •-, 

by climate, natural from blood - admixture with lower tribes. 

and artificial. . . 

Ine change that is being impressed upon it 
is altogether the effect of climate. Physically it hastens 
to come into correspondence with the new circumstances, 
and is ever moving in an ascending course. The length 
of time to be occupied in the metamorphosis before com- 
plete accordance is gained must be very considerable, and 
the event subject to perpetual retardation, if continued 
immigration is going on. 

On the other hand, the length of time and the course 
to be passed over are shortened by that artificial climate- 
variation accomplished in civilized life, explained in Chap- 
ter V. The living in artificially -warmed houses, the ad- 
justment of clothing, the selection of food, compensate 
largely for difference of climate, and bring society to a 
more homogeneous state. 

The advance of the Northern population to the Missis- 
sippi was by no means so rapid as might 

Rate of diffusion of -, -, . n r ^.- l . . -. ... , 

the Northern popu- have been expected. Ohio was not admitted 

lation to the West. TT , „ __... 

to the Union until 1803, Illinois not until 
1818. The effect of the Great Lakes in retarding the tide 
of humanity is seen in the fact that Michigan was not ad- 
mitted until 1837, Wisconsin not until 1847. This shrw 
progress westward was, to no inconsiderable extent, due 
to the fact that much of the diffusive power of this popu- 
lation was converted into local energy, and consumed in 
the establishment of large towns. As will be presently 


seen, the Southern population, though numerically inferi- 
or, and settled on an equal geographical surface, actually' 
surpassed in rapidity of diffusion the Northern, this being 
mainly the result of plantation life, and the consumption 
of a smaller proportion of the population in the establish- 
ment of cities. 

The retardation of the Northern progress to the Mis- 
causesofitsre- sissippi was also partly due, in the first in- 
tardation. stance, to the retention by the English of 

the Western posts. The United States, under the Confed- 
eration, could not carry out the treaty of peace, and Mr. 
Adams, then minister to England, received a reply from 
the British government that " one party could not be 
obliged to a strict observance of the engagements of a 
treaty, and the other remain free to deviate from its obli- 
gations." The whole difficulty lay in the fact that Con- 
gress had no compulsory power over the states to oblige 
them to conform in their legislation to the treaty stipula- 
tions. This cause of retardation was not, however, of 
long duration. 

The rural industry of the Northern people was chiefly 
products of its m- directed to the production of grain, hay, po- 
cateits n hab y itl n of" tatoes, corn, butter, cheese, wool, live-stock 
llfe ' To these local circumstances added other 

products ; thus New Hampshire furnished granite ; Maine, 
lumber, fish, ice ; Massachusetts, granite and marble ; New 
York, iron and salt ; Pennsylvania, iron and coal ; Wis- 
consin, lead; Michigan, copper, etc. The concentration 
of population in towns was the result of the great devel- 
opment of manufactures and commerce; the objects of 
pursuit were therefore very various, and, indeed, embraced 
almost every thing that is ftf interest in civilized life. 

Farming, mining, the fisheries, manufactures, machinery, 
trade, commerce, formed, therefore, the diversified pursuits 
of the North. If the people diffused slowly, they built 


solidly. They left, as they advanced, no desolate, no worn- 
out fields. Properly speaking, this people did not mi- 
grate — they grew. The land once possessed was retained. 
Nothing was abandoned. 

The settlement of the Northwestern Territory ceded 
by Virginia to the Union, and the formation 

The settlement of „ -. ^ -, , „ .-, . T .,. T1 ,. 

the Northwestern ot the powerful states ot Ohio, Indiana, IJii- 


nois, Michigan, Wisconsin, out of it, were de- 
termined by the Ordinance of 1787, a measure not only 
offering a most signal instance of practical and compre- 
hensive legislation, but also being the exemplar by which 
unoccupied domain has since been converted into legal 
territory, and then developed into perfect states. Though . 
its special provisions have been occasionally modified, the 
general conception on which it depends has remained 

This ordinance was enacted by Congress, July, 1787. 
The ordinance of ^ constituted the Territory one district, but 
178T * authorized its subsequent division. It di- 

rected that property should be distributed equally among 
the children of an intestate, the widow to have a life-inter- 
est in one third of the real and personal property. Per- 
sons of full age could dispose of their estates by written 
will, in presence of three witnesses. Real estate was to 
be conveyed by a person of full age by deed, which must 
be acknowledged and attested by two witnesses. All 
wills and deeds must be registered. The civil govern- 
ment was to consist of three branches — executive, legis- 
lative, judicial. The governor was to be appointed by 
Congress, as was also a court of common law, consisting 
of three judges. The governor and judges were to adopt 
and publish such laws of ike old states as were suited to 
the district, these laws to have effect until a General As- 
sembly was organized, or until Congress disapproved of 
them. The governor was to appoint magistrates, but 

Chap. X.] ORDINANCE OF 1787. \g\ 

when the General Assembly was organized their duties 
were to be regulated by it. The governor was also au- 
thorized to divide the Territory into counties and town- 
ships, but those divisions might be subsequently changed 
by the Legislature. As soon as the Territory contained 
five thousand free male inhabitants, they were to elect 
representatives to a General Assembly, one representative 
for every five hundred electors. The qualifications of the 
representative were specified. 

Articles of compact between the inhabitants of the 
Territory and the old states were ordained. They were 
chiefly: 1st. That there should be in the Territory free- 
dom of religious opinion and worship. 2d. That the 
right to the writ of habeas corpus and trial by jury, a 
proportional representation in the Legislature, the course 
of the common law, the bailing of offenses not capital, a 
just compensation for property or services required by 
the public, and the inviolability of contracts, should be 
secured; that immoderate fines, and cruel or unusual pun- 
ishments, should be prohibited. 3d. Th^t provision 
should be made for the establishment of schools. 4th. 
That the Territory and its states should forever be a part 
of the Confederacy and subject to Congress, the inhabit- 
ants to be taxed proportionally for public expenses, and 
that there should never be any interference with Con- 
gress as to the primary disposal of soil, or the security 
of titles given by it; that no tax should ever be imposed 
on land owned by the United States ; that non-residents 
should not be taxed more than residents, and that the 
navigable waters leading to the St. Lawrence and the 
Mississippi should be forever free. 5th. That the Terri- 
tory might be formed into not less than three, nor more 
than five states, and that whenever one of the latter had 
sixty thousand free inhabitants, it might be admitted by 
its delegates to Congress on an equal footing with the 


old states, and be at liberty to form a permanent Con- 
stitution and state government, provided that it should 
be republican and in conformity with these articles of 
compact. 6th. That there should be neither slavery nor 
involuntary servitude in the Territory otherwise than for 
the punishment of crime, but that fugitives owing service 
in other states might be reclaimed. 

It was not possible but that free communities should 
prosper under such institutions, and that the fertile re- 
gions thus politically organized should tempt population 
not only from the Atlantic States, but also from Europe. 
This immigration was, in the first instance, from Ireland, 
but subsequently very largely from Germany. 

The psychical impress imparted to the descendants of 
impression made tne old Puritan stock by the immigrating 
ty DV m th r e c i3sh im- masses of Irish was comparatively insignifi- 
cant. The ideas these foreigners brought 
were essentially of a religious kind, that had been passed 
over by the native Americans long previously. Concep- 
tions that found acceptance in the devout Catholic mind, 
and gave it consolation, were necessarily declined by the 
educated descendant of the Puritan, who had himself al- 
ready made a great advance beyond the ideas of the old 
colonists. But, considering the whole population in the 
aggregate, this immigration has detained it in a lower in- 
tellectual state. Catholicism is in its nature intrinsically 
antagonistic to self-government — its obedience is to the 
priest. As in former ages, so now, it tends to maintain a 
state within the state. It aims to keep its adherents sep- 
arated from the general community, that it may wield 
them as a mass. Political demagogues also find their ad- 
vantage in this, for they, too, use this class of the popula- 
tion as a cudgel against their opponents. 

With the German immigration it was different. It 
made itself felt intellectually in the community among 


impression made which it settled, because its own intellect- 
s' b^tne^rS ual development, though in one sense special, 
was very high. Its ideas, to say the least, 
were on a par with those of the American. It brought 
industry and intelligence, and overcame the difficulties 
and drawbacks of a foreign tongue. Though its Sabbath 
ideas were not congenial to the more austere American, 
he instantly appreciated and accepted its tastes. Among 
these may be specially mentioned a love of music and the 
fine arts. 

Such were the benefits conferred by the better class of 
German immigrants, who, for the most part, found occu- 
pation in commercial and business pursuits, often on a 
very imposing scale. The rustic German, plodding, poor, 
and ignorant, unlike the Irishman, avoids the populous 
cities, preferring to settle in the rich prairie-lands. As- 
sisted by his wife, who shares his toils, he turns those 
great meadows into gardens. In place of the wild flow- 
ers that sway to and fro in the wind, he raises crops of 
golden grain, converting the roaming grounds of wild an- 
imals into harvest-fields. His yellow-haired children, un- 
der the free sky and surrounded by a vast unbroken hor- 
izon, are confirmed in their native Teutonic love of liber- 
ty. Patient, laborious, independent, he looks upon slavery 
with hatred, and on the slaveholder with contempt. 

Gigantesque in his ideas, and not unfrequently in his 
conversation, the Western man is conscious 

Character of the ni- p ,.. , , ^ , , . , 

^Papulations in oi destiny when he amrms that he is laying 
the foundations of a great republic — a Colos- 
sus that, in the days of his grandchildren, will grasp Eu- 
rope in one hand, and Asia in the other. 

To these remarks on the effect of the 

Of Indian and rie- L- . , -, ~ . . . 

gro slavery in the lriSU and bceYJRSili immigration On the POP- 
Eastern States. , p-i-vr-i* r r 

ulation of the North, it now remains to add 


some statements on Indian and negro slavery in that re- 

Deceived by their erroneous intepretations of Scrip- 
ture, or perhaps not reflecting maturely on the immoral- 
ity of tbeir act, the Puritan colonists were drawn into 
the African slave-trade. With an incongruity so quaint 
as often to provoke the reader's mirth, they blindly mix- 
ed up deeds of wickedness with the most pious aspira- 
tions, and became, to a very large extent, slave-carriers to 
the South. In Moore's " Notes on the History of Slavery 
in Massachusetts" the progress of these events may be 
found. To that work I am indebted for several of the 
following facts. 

The first slaves in Massachusetts were Indians cap- 
tured in the Pequod War (1637). Partly 

Exportation of In- , -in o < , 1 -\ i 

dian captives of through tear oi their escape, and partly 


through apprehension that they might sat- 
isfy their revengeful spirit if permitted to remain in the 
country, many of them were exported beyond seas. Gov- 
ernor Winthrop mentions that, through the Lord's great 
mercy, a number of them had been taken, of whom the 
males were sent to Bermuda, and the females distributed 
through the Bay towns to be employed as domestic serv- 
ants. The expatriation of these Indians led 

It leads to the . . -. n . -, i • i i 

adoption of the Af- to the commencement ot the colonial slave- 

rican slave-trade. . 

trade, and a vessel of 120 tons, " The Desire, 
one of the first built in the colony, was used for that pur- 
pose. The thing was not done in secret, or indirectly, 
but openly, by the public authority. Thus we find, in a 
letter to Winthrop, at that time governor : " Mr. Endi- 
cott and myself salute you in the Lord Jesus. We have 

heard of a division of women and children 

Such prisoners are • , -i -r» t i i i n t r> t 

distributed by the m the Bay, and would be glad ot a share, 

colonial governors. . ^ ' , ° * ' 

viz., a young woman or girl, and a boy, if 
you think good. I wrote to you for some boys for Ber- 


muda." Captain Stoughton, who was employed in the 
Pequod War, wrote to the same governor (Winthrop) : 
"By this pinnace you shall receive forty-eight or fifty 
women and children, concerning which there is one I for- 
merly mentioned, that is the fairest and largest I saw 
among them, to whom I have given a coat to clothe her. 
It is my desire to have her for a servant, if it may stand 
with your good liking, else not. There is a little squaw 
that Steward Culacut desireth, to whom he hath given a 
coat. Lieutenant Davenport also desireth one that hath 
three marks on her stomach (here the good Puritan cap- 
tain gives a sketch of the marks he had observed on that 
part of her person). He desireth her, if it will stand with 
your liking." 

The first statute establishing slavery in the colonies is 

to be found in the Massachusetts Code of 

offfavSyTnthe 11 Fundamentals, or Body of Liberties, in 1641. 

Northern colonies. n n 1 • /» -i T t • 

The Articles of Confederation of the United 
Colonies of New England (1643) also recognize the law- 
ful existence of slavery. According to its provisions, 
lands, goods, and captives are to be divided among the 
confederates. Even the germ of a fugitive slave law may 
be detected at that early date. " The commissioners of 
the,, united colonies found reason to complain to the Dutch 
governor in New Netherlands (1646) of the fact that the 
Dutch agent at Hartford had harbored a fugitive Indian 
woman slave, of whom they say in their letter, ' such a 
servant is part of her master's estate, and a more consid- 
pu itive slave arable part than a beast.' A provision for 
treaty provision. ^ e renc iition of fugitive slaves was afterward 
made by treaty between the Dutch and the English." 
The Puritans, as we have seen, justified their barbarities 
to the New England Indians on the same 

Patristic ideas of • • *i Vi j i i n • i -1 , -i • 

the Puritans re- principle that the bpaniards excused their 

specting Indians. x . . ^ . 

atrocities to those of Mexico and Peru. " We 


know not," says Cotton Mather, " when or how these In- 
dians first became inhabitants of this mighty continent, 
yet we may guess that probably the Devil decoyed the 
miserable savages hither, in hopes that the Gospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ would never come here to destroy or 
obstruct his absolute empire over them." The colonists, 
therefore, considered themselves entitled to 

The lawfulness of , . -, -i-ii n t -i 

enslaving and seii- treat these captives as the children of Israel 

ing them. x , 

treated the Canaanites. In the opinion of 
Governor Hutchinson, nothing more effectively defeated 
the endeavors for Christianizing them ; " it seems to have 
done more to have sunk their spirits, led them to intem- 
perance, and extirpated the whole race." At the time of 
King Philip's war, large numbers of Indian prisoners 
were sold "in the country's behalf;" at one time, 112 
men, women, and children ; at another time, 57 ; at anoth- 
er (1675), 188. One hundred and seventy-eight were ex- 
ported from Plymouth and sold in Spain. In not a few 
instances, treachery was resorted to to get possession of 
them. Thus, " about a 150 Indians came into Plymouth 
garrison voluntarily. Plymouth authority sold them all 
for slaves (but about six of them), to be carried out of 
the country." But these atrocities were not accomplished 
without indignant remonstrances from the military offi- 
cers to whom the prisoners had surrendered. Public de- 
moralization spread apace. Even the converted or " pray- 
ing Indians" did not escape this rapacious cupidity ; many 
of them, under false accusations, were sold as slaves. Nay, 
more," Quaker ladies were whipped with ten stripes," and 
Quaker children adjudged to be sold into slavery to Bar- 
badoes and Virginia. 

The sale of the New England Indians to foreign coun- 
tries by the Puritans originated, as previ- 
saiem siave-ship ously remarked, in a fear that they would 

Desire. •/» i -i • • -i 

escape if left near their native haunts, and 


revenge upon the whites the cruelties they had endured. 
This led to the African slave-trade in the colonies. The 
Salem slave-ship "Desire" brought negroes from the West 
Indies. Downing, in a letter to his brother-in-law, Gov- 
ernor Winthrop, writes (1645): "A war with the Nar- 
ragansetts is very considerable to this plantation, for I 
doubt whether it be not sin in us, having power in our 
hands, to suffer them to maintain the worship of the devil, 
which their potvwows often do. 2d. If, upon a just war, 
the Lord should deliver them into our hands, we might 
easily have men, women, and children enough to exchange 
for Moors, which will be more gainful pillage for us than 
we conceive, for I do not see how we can thrive until we 
get in a stock of slaves sufficient to do all our business; 
for our children's children will hardly see this great con- 
tinent filled with people, so that our serv- 
fer negro slaves to ants will still desire freedom to plant for 

English servants. * 

themselves, and not stay but for very great 
wages. And I suppose you know very well how we 
shall maintain twenty Moors cheaper than one English 
servant. The ships that shall bring Moors may come 
home laden with salt, which may bear most of the charge, 
if not all of it." 

That this exchange of Indians for negroes had been 

found advantageous is indicated by an order 

Trip PVPTitnftl sIrvp ^~^ 

population of Mas- of the commissioners of the United Colonies 


(1646) authorizing the shipping and ex- 
change. There is reason to suppose that the slave-trade 
in Boston reached its maximum about 1727. The num- 
ber of African slaves in Massachusetts was, however, at 
no time very large. In 1686 there were not more than 
200, who had been brought chiefly from Guinea and 
Madagascar. In 1708 they had increased to about 550. 
The increase was not so much by births; for Governor 
Bradstreet, writing in 1680 to the Lords of the Commit- 



[Sect. II. 

tee for Trade and Foreign Plantations, remarks, " There 
are very few blacks born here, not above five or six in a 
year at most ; none are baptized that I ever heard of !" 
That the inducement to import them was not very great 
appears from the statement of Governor Dudley, that ne- 
groes had been found unprofitable, and that the planters 
preferred white servants. 

Number of Negroes in Massachusetts. 

1720 . . 

. . 2000 

1776 . . 

. . 5249 

1735 . . 

. . 2600 

1784 . . 

. . 4377 

1754 . . 

. . 4489 

1786 . . 

. . 4371 

1764 . . 

. . 5779 

1790 . . 

. . 6001 

The last of these numbers must, however, be rejected, 
as it embraced Indians. At that time the people would 
not admit that they had any slaves. Dr. Belknap sup- 
poses that the whole number of negroes was about 4000. 

In Massachusetts slaves were not permitted to be 
. , . . . - abroad after nine o'clock at night ; they 

Advertisements of © ? J 

SrgiyTSsftq 1 were prohibited improper intercourse and 
public indignation. contractmg marriage with the whites; their 

increase was looked upon with disfavor; it did not re- 
imburse the incidental loss of service. Little negroes, 
" when weaned, were given away like puppies." The 
master might deny baptism to his slaves. They were 
continually advertised in the newspapers for sale. " Just 
arrived and for sale, a choice parcel of negro boys and 
girls." It was quite a recommendation if they had had 
the small-pox. "A likely negro woman about 19 years, 
and a child of about 6 months, to be sold together or 
apart r Such advertisements continued in the news- 
papers until after the Declaration of Independence, 
though not without remonstrance. Thus Dr. Gordon, in 
1777, denounced them "as in the present season peculiar- 
ly shocking :" this was in view of the fact that the colo- 


nies were contending with the mother country for their 
own freedom. He adds, " If God hath made of one blood 
all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, I 
can see no reason why a black rather than a white man 
should be a slave." 

Mr. Jefferson, in the account he gives respecting the 
„ T _ , omission of the celebrated denunciation of 

Mr. Jefferson's 

iigth^silveTnSr- slavery from the Declaration of Independ- 
estsoftheijorth. enc( ^ ga y g . « rjij^ c i ause? too? reprobating the 

enslaving the inhabitants of Africa was struck out in 
complaisance to South Carolina and Georgia, who had 
never attempted to restrain the importation of slaves, and 
who, on the contrary, still wished to continue it. Our 
Northern brethren, also, I believe, felt a little tender un- 
der those censures ; for, though their people had very few 
slaves themselves, yet they had been pretty considerable 
carriers of them to others." 

From the foregoing facts, it is therefore clear that we 
The later nobie m ust not impute to a Puritan origin, or to 
chStsn^due" to Puritan influences, the course that Massachu- 
puntanism, ge ^ k ag -k a k en [ n regard to African slavery 

in later years. The convictions upon which she has so 
nobly acted, though perhaps of foreign origin, have grad- 
ually been developed in her own bosom. In this, as in 
many other respects, Puritanism has been greatly misun- 
derstood. It had no conception of universal benevolence 
or universal liberty. The Massachusetts soldiers of the 
civil war were far in advance of their forefathers of Plym- 
outh Rock. 



The westward progress of the Southern population having been powerfully influ- 
enced by negro slavery, the ethnological condition of the African and American 
negro is considered. The rapid territorial advance of the South, and its restrict- 
ed social development, are shown to be the necessary incidents of its special ru- 
ral economy, and the acquisition of the free navigation of the Mississippi River. 
The Southern white population has undergone no race-adulteration ; that evil 
has exclusively befallen the black. 

The tendency to physiological and social divergence between the Northern and 
Southern communities has been strengthened by their governing principle of life, 
which is Individualism in the former, Independence in the latter. 

The development of the Southern population can not 
be properly considered without treating of the introduc- 
tion and influence of African slaves. 

Though it is commonly said that the first African 
, •*. * ■„ * slaves were brought to the American colo- 

Introduction of ne- © 

IpaniarlsTEngith, n i es by a Dutch ship of war, which landed 
and Dutch*. ' twenty f tliem at Jamestown in 1620, they 

had, as we have seen, been introduced on the continent 
by the Spaniards at a much earlier date. Sir John Haw- 
kins, the slave merchant, figures in the Spanish settlement 
of Florida; he arrived off that coast in 1565. In the 
same year Menendez covenanted with Philip II. of Spain 
to import into Florida five hundred negro slaves. In the 
beginning of the sixteenth century, so many Africans had 
been carried to the West Indies that Ovando, the gov- 
ernor of Hispaniola, was anxious for their importation to 
be stopped. They were partly employed in the mines, 
and partly in the cultivation of sugar. The African slave- 
trade had received the sanction of the Spanish govern- 
ment, a monopoly having been granted by Charles V. to* 


a Fleming, one of his courtiers, who was to import an- 
nually four thousand negroes for eight years. He sold 
the privilege to some Genoese merchants for twenty-five 
thousand ducats, and they organized the trade. 

Slavery had been introduced into the Southern En- 
glish colonies before the Puritans landed in New En- 
gland. At that time the most sincerely religious men 
seem not to have been impressed with a sense of its 
barbarity and wickedness; it was not until many years 
subsequently that the public conscience was awakened. 
As patristicism had led to so sad a tragedy in the ex- 
termination of the natives of Mexico and Peru, under the 
pretense that they did not belong to the human race, so 
it excused the atrocities perpetrated upon the African 
under the plea that the Almighty had put a stamp of 
infamy upon him, he being the descendant of Canaan, 
whose father, Ham, had treated Noah disrespectfully. 
Some of the Popes had, however, viewed 

Attempts of the .. ,. . • , t i • x at 

popes to arrest the these proceeding's m a lust light. Leo X. 

slave-trade. x ° ° ° 

denounced them, and Paul III., a few years 
later, invoked curses on those who should attempt to en- 
slave either Indians or any other class of men. 

In America, for the reasons given in page 123, it was 
not possible for the indigenous negro to exist. 

On the west coast of Africa, the true negro-land, the 
thermometer not unfrequently stands at 120° 

Description of the . . , , -. -^ . , . . -, . , 

negro-iand, its cii- m the shade, ror months together it re- 
mate and animals. , t ^ 

mains, night and day, above 80 . The year 
is divided into the. dry and the rainy season ; the latter, 
setting in with an incessant drizzle, continues until May. 
It culminates in the most awful thunder-storms and over- 
whelming rains. This is particularly the case in the 
mountains. When the dry season has fairly begun, a 
pestiferous miasm is engendered from the vast quantities 

192 NEGRO-LAND. [Sect. II. 

of vegetable matter brought down into the low lands by 
torrents. From the fevers thus arising the negroes them- 
selves suffer severely. 

Moisture and heat, thus so fatal in their consequences 
to man, give to that country its amazing vegetable luxu- 
riance. For hundreds of square miles there is an impen- 
etrable jungle, infested with intolerable swarms of mus- 
quitoes. The interior is magnificently wooded. The 
mangrove thickets that line the river banks upon the 
coast are here replaced by a dark evergreen verdure, in- 
terspersed with palms and aloes. A rank herbage ob- 
structs the course of the streams. The crocodile, hippo- 
potamus, pelican, find here a suitable abode. Monkeys 
swarm in the woods; in the more gloomy recesses live 
the chimpanzee, gorilla, and other anthropoid apes, ap- 
proaching man most closely in stature and habits of 
life. In the open land — the prairies of equatorial Africa 
— game is infrequent; there are a few antelopes and 
horned cattle, but no horses. Man — or perhaps more 
truly woman — is the only beast of burden. 

Plantains, sweet potatoes, cassava, pumpkins, ground- 
Habits of nfe of the nuts, Indian corn, the flesh of the deer, ante- 
negro in Africa. ] p e? "boar, snake, furnish to the negro his 
food. He lives in a hut constructed of bamboo or flakes 
of bark, thatched with matting or palm-leaves. His vil- 
lages are often pallisadoed. Too lazy, except when se- 
verely pressed, to attend to the labors of the field, he com- 
pels his wives to plant the roots or seeds, and gather 
the scanty harvest. In hunting and in war, his main occu- 
pations, he relies upon cunning, and will follow his prey 
with surprising agility, crawling like a snake prone on 
the ground. He has little or no idea of property in land; 
slaves are his currency ; he makes his purchases and 
pays his debts with them. " A slave is a note of hand 
that may be discounted or pawned. He is a bill of ex- 


change that carries himself to his destination, and pays a 
debt bodily. He is a tax that walks corporeally into 
ma reii ious and ^ ne c hi e ft am ' s treasury." Ferocious in his 
social ideas. amours, the African negro has no sentiment 
of love. The more wives he possesses the richer he is. 
If he inclines to traffic, each additional father-in-law is 
an additional trading connection ; if devoted to war, an 
ally. His animal passions too often disdain all such mer- 
cenary suggestions : he brings home new wives for the 
sake of new gratifications. Fond of ornaments, his pros- 
perity is displayed in thick bracelets and anklets of iron 
or brass. An old European hat, or a tattered dress-coat, 
without any other article of clothing, is a sufficient badge 
of kingship. He inclines to nocturnal habits. He will 
spend all the night lolling with his companions on the 
ground at a blazing fire, though the thermometer may be 
at more than 80°, occupying himself in smoking native 
tobacco, drinking palm wine, and telling stories about 
witches and spirits. He is an inveterate gambler, a jest- 
er, and a buffoon. He knows nothing of hero worship : 
his religion is a worship of fetiches. They are such ob- 
jects as the fingers and tails of monkeys, human hair, 
skin, teeth, bones, old nails, copper chains, claws and 
skulls of birds, seeds of plants. He believes that evil 
spirits walk at the sunset hour by the edge of forests ; he 
adores the devil, who is thought to haunt burial-grounds, 
and, in mortal terror of his enmity, leaves food for him in 
the woods. He welcomes the new moon by dancing in 
her shine. Whatever misfortune or sickness befalls him 
he imputes to sorcery, and punishes the detected wizard 
or witch with death. He determines guilt by the ordeal 
of fire : the accused who can seize a red-hot copper ring 
without being burnt is innocent. His medicine-man — a 
wind-raiser and rain-maker — pursues his main business 
of exorcism in a head-dress of black feathers, with a string 
L— N 


of spirit -charms round his neck, and a basket of snake- 
bone incantations. The more advanced tribes have al- 
ready risen to idol worship : they adore grotesque figures 
of the human form, and, following the course through 
which intelligence in other races has passed, they have 
wooden gods who can speak, and nod, and wink. 

In this deplorable, this benighted condition, the negro 
His process m the nevertheless shows tokens of a capacity for 
artsofufe. better things. He is an eager trader, and 

knows the value of his ebony, bar-wood, beeswax, palm- 
oil, ivory. He has learned how to cheat ; nay, more, not 
unfrequently can outcheat the white man. He can adul- 
terate the caoutchouc and other products he brings down 
to the coast, and pass them off as pure. His color se- 
cures him from the detection of a blush when he lies. 
Though utterly ignorant of any conception of art, he is 
not unskillful in the manufacture of cooking -pots and 
tobacco-pipes of clay ; he has a bellows-forge of his own 
invention; he can reduce iron from its ores and manu- 
facture it. He makes shields of elephants' hide, cross- 
bows, and other weapons of war. But in the construc- 
tion of musical instruments his skill is chiefly displayed. 
From drums of goat-skin, from harps and resonant gourds, 
he extracts their melancholy sounds, and disturbs the 
nocturnal African forests with his plaintive melodies. 

It has been affirmed by those who have known them 
The noxious cii- well, that the equatorial negro tribes do not 
mate he inhabits. i ncrease? "b^t tend to die out spontaneously. 

This is attributed to infanticide, and to the ravages of 
miasmatic fever, which in its most malignant form will 
often destroy its victim in a single day. Even though 
quinine be taken as a prophylactic, no white man can en- 
ter their country with impunity. The night-dews are 
absolutely mortal. 

Few political problems are of more interest in America 


than that of the capacity of communities of African de- 
scent for civilization. In his own country the negro has 
been subjected for more than a thousand years to two 
influences, Christian and Mohammedan. Here and there, 
on the outskirts of that great continent, the European has 
made a faint, but at the best only a transitory impression ; 
Mohammedanization tne Asiatic has pervaded it through and 
of central Africa. through. Of the promising churches which 
in the early days of Christianity fringed the northern 
coast, scarcely any vestige now remains ; the faith of Ara- 
bia has not only supplanted them, but is spreading to- 
ward the Cape of Good Hope, and this, as it would seem, 
spontaneously. Our prejudices and education ought not 
to conceal from us that there must certainly be some 
adaptedness, though only in a sensual respect, between 
the doctrines of the Koran and the ideas of many cli- 
mates, many nations, many colors. The light of the Ara- 
bian crescent shines on all countries from the Gulf of 
Guinea to the Chinese wall. In the pestilential and sun- 
burnt forests of equinoctial Africa, cities are springing up 
with ten, twenty, fifty thousand inhabitants. That im- 
plies subordination, law, civilization. 

Doubtless, to no insignificant extent, this spread of Mo- 
hammedanism has been due to the fact that its first im- 
pression was made on the Western — the Indian Ocean 
tribes. They are much farther advanced than those of 
the Atlantic coast. From Mozambique and Zanguebar 
it was carried through commerce, and not by missionary 
exertion, to the tribes of the interior. The practice of 
polygamy, which the Koran does not forbid, has also 
greatly favored this propagandism. 

Whoever compares the character of the negro in Africa 

with the character of the negro in America 

American negro in will come to the conclusion that not onlv is 

civilization. . J 

this race capable of a certain grade of civil- 


ization, but that it has made considerable advances in 
that career. The American negro has universally aban- 
doned the abject paganism of his forefathers, and has be- 
come not merely nominally, but in spirit, a devout Chris- 
tian. It can not be said of him that he is incapable of 
the sentiment of love. Too often has he worn himself 
out in redeeming from slavery the wife of his choice. 
Under circumstances the most unfavorable, he has attain- 
ed correct ideas of conjugal and paternal relations. Es- 
sentially religious, his trust in the justice of God has nev- 
er wavered. In his darkest days and sorest trials he has 
firmly expected in patience the coming of the inevitable 
hour that would proclaim him free. At the end of a 
civil war in which the passions of men have been un- 
bound, and violence of all kinds has been licensed, he 
stands unaccused of crime. He has approved himself a 
brave soldier, true to the supreme authority of the coun- 
try in which Providence has cast his lot. 

The American negro is not civilizing merely upon the 
surface, but interiorly. Leaving the stage of imitation 
and passing to that of comprehension, he is beginning to 
have ideas like ours. It will, however, be long before he 
can combine and generalize. At the best, as was re- 
marked on page 102, he will never be more 

The necesearily , -. .-, -, ,~ . . n 

limited nature of than an overgrown child. Communities torm- 

his advance. -i /» i • i i -n -t n 

ed of such a social element will be wafted like 
clouds in the air, impelled by extraneous influences ; for 
a long time, simple dogmas and ceremonies must be their 
guide. The social machine in which they are concerned 
must be able to work of itself; they would hardly be 
able to guide it. They must learn to decline ease, and 
be discontented with poverty, which is the great source 
of crime, the barrier to knowledge, the chief cause of hu- 
man woe. In laboring to procure an individual compe- 
tence, they must discern that they are becoming more 


happy, more virtuous, more powerful. Not without rea- 
son do communities of European descent devote them- 
selves to the pursuit of gain ; for, though " eloquence, tal- 
ent, rank, attract admiration, it is wealth alone that gives 

In intellectual development the American negro has 
made progress ; under a legal prohibition of formal edu- 
cation he has stealthily advanced. Without difficulty he 
acquires the humbler rudiments of knowledge ; he learns 
to read and to cast up a simple account. In congrega- 
tions of the Methodist and Baptist churches, to which 
Christian denominations he usually gives his preference, 
he prays with earnestness, and preaches with an eloquence 
often very touching from its quaint simplicity. The com- 
ic and plaintive songs which he is said to sing in his 
hours of relaxation have been listened to with admira- 
tion in all the gay capitals of Europe. 

The motive for his production and protection as a 
source of wealth in connection with the in- 

He will not change . in / i l • ttji 

physiologically in ternal slave-trade having ended, the census 

America, but un- . -n i 

dergo redistribu- m future vears will show a continuous de- 

tion. J 

crease of his numbers in the Border States, 
and a relative increase in those of the Gulf. This will 
inevitably ensue if he be left to himself, with freedom of 
movement, and no legal repression or restraint. His in- 
stinct will lead him to do what is done by quadrupeds, 
by birds, and by fishes — to migrate to those regions where 
Nature is in unison with his constitution. He will not 
linger in a country of frosts if he be permitted to have 
access to one of warmth ; and hence it is not likely that 
the future history of America will present the spectacle 
^>f his physiological modification : it will be the narrative 
of his geographical redistribution. 

The settlers on the Southern portion of the Atlantic 


border were comparatively undisturbed by 

Westward diffusion . . . . rr,-, . -, ■* . n -i -, . 

of the southern immigration. Iney received but tew addi- 

population. . ° " . . , 

tions from Europe. Natural instinct kept 
them uncontaminated by African blood. 

Yet their diffusion to the West was rapid. Tennessee 
peculiarities of the was admitted into the Union in 1796, Ala- 

Southern progress. bama {r 1S ^ Migsissippi in tffr Qf the 

trans -Mississippi states, Missouri was admitted in 1821. 
Political reasons connected with the balance of power in 
the United States Senate had unquestionably an influ- 
ence in accelerating this advance, but those reasons were 
capable of practical embodiment only because of the pe- 
culiarities of Southern society. The cultivation of tobac- 
co and cotton necessarily implied plantation life, and that 
implied a population sparsely settled. So remunerative, 
and therefore so engrossing, did these pursuits rapidly 
become, that none of that variety of industry character- 
istic of the North could here have place. There was not 
so strong a tendency to local clustering. Towns were 
less numerous ; their population less. 

The massing of the population North and South, and 
Motion of the cen- their relative advance westward, is indicated 
anVceffiof 011 by the fact that the centre of population 
has hitherto slowly moved along a line 
about fifteen degrees north of west. At the first census 
it was near Washington City; in 1840 it was in the 
northwestern extremity of Virginia; at the breaking out 
of the war it was a little beyond Columbus, Ohio. The 
redistribution of the negro population just alluded to 
will carry it south, but the point at which it will cross 
the Mississippi River will turn altogether on the circum- 
stances under which industry is reorganized in the tobac-^ 
co and cotton states. Should a tide of white emigration 
flow in that direction, it would correspondingly carry the 
point at which the centre of population will cross the 


river nearer to St. Louis than to Rock Island, to which it 
was formerly making its way. The centre of wealth is 
slowly following it, but the inclination of its path is to 
the south of west. 

At the adoption of the Constitution the population 
North and South was nearly equal ; each of 

Original equality of , . ,, , .,,. p 

the North and the two regions had nearly two millions ot 

South. . & . , J 

inhabitants, if we include for the South half 
a million of slaves. Their territory to the Mississippi 
was nearly equal ; it was about 400,000 square miles : 
for the North, 406,086 ; for the South, excluding Florida, 
399,400. Their commerce was equal. The annual ex- 
ports of the North were $8,461,209; those of the South, 
$8,555,074. The assessed values of property in the two 
were equal, being about four hundred millions of dollars. 

But very soon the North began to display a greater 
progressive power than the South : its advancement was 
seen in its population, its trade, its wealth. 

This steady advancement of the North over the South 
has been popularly ascribed to the change 

The rapid progress n ■*• tijipii , 

of the North in ot policy pursued by the federal government 

wealth and power x -, . -,. . ^ , .. 

not due to govern- m abandoning direct taxation and obtaining 

ment action. O o 

a revenue from foreign commerce. But it 

should be remembered that this change did not occur 

until 1816, and the difference between the two may be 

recognized from the very beginning of the government. 

Apart from any political considerations of strength to 

be derived from the multiplication of states, 

Causes of the rapid , . , - . ■« -, 

population diffu- there were special causes that aided very 

sion in the South. , x , *> 

powerfully in promoting the westward dif- 
fusion of the Southern people. Among these may be 
mentioned, 1st. The topographical construction of the 
country ; for the Atlantic border sweeps round the limit 
of the Appalachian chain through Georgia and Alabama 
into Mississippi, presenting the great tertiary formations 


alluded to in Chapter II. ; 2d. A climate of uniformity 
and mildness, implying a sameness in agricultural prod- 
ucts; 3d. Easy communication along the coast by sea; 
4th. The existence of a great capital in front, New Or- 

If such was the case in the countries that lay on the 
same parallels of latitude, as South Carolina and Geor- 
gia, there were equally powerful influences in Virginia, 
though it is intersected by the Appalachians, and has a 
variety of climate, and less facility for migratory move- 
ment. The production of tobacco, to which the rural in- 
dustry of this state was largely turned, implies a very 
rapid exhaustion of the soil, that plant extracting the 
salts of potash, and being unable to grow where those 
compounds have been removed to a certain extent. A 
traveler over the Virginia Atlantic lowlands passes 
through tract after tract on which nothing but the Pinus 
tceda, a stunted tree, which can flourish on a less amount 
of potash salts than any others of the forest, is growing. 
These " old fields," as they are significantly 
of the south com- called, have been exhausted by tobacco. To 

pels expatriation. ' *. 

restore to them the salts which have been 
thus removed was impracticable in an economical point 
of view. The planter was driven from his worn-out es- 
tate to the cheap and fertile lands of the West. 

To this apparently trifling fact must be attributed an 
important result. I have already remarked that in the 
westward advancement of the human tide at the North 
nothing was abandoned ; consolidation o( what was al- 
ready possessed went on simultaneously with diffusion. 
But in the tobacco-growing country vast spaces were thus 
literally surrendered back to Nature, and the spread of 
population, instead of being the result of an outgrowth, 
a surplus, was at the expense of the parent states. 

As the organization of the Northwestern Territory by 


the Ordinance of 1787 is the most important 

Question of the nav- „ . . n . .-, .-, . -j 1 

i-ation of the Mis- fact connected with the western develop- 

sissippi. i rs t • • 

ment of the Northern States, so the acquisi- 
tion of the Mississippi River stands in a similar relation 
to the western development of the South. 

To the fathers of the republic the United States were 
the slender train of colonies seated on the 

Doubts respecting a ^i j • i l Tj it t 

the policy of its ac- Atlantic border. It was only by degrees 

quisition. , , -i-i-it 

that the political horizon extended beyond 
the Alleghany Mountains. Into those "back -settle- 
ments" — a term much used at that time, and not unapt- 
ly indicating the supposed position of the region — ad- 
venturers continually poured, attracted by its soil, popu- 
larly declared to be thrice as rich as the old colonial do- 
mains. Even Washington, so late as 1784, did not think 
that the ownership of the Mississippi would be of benefit 
to the republic, but, on the contrary, was afraid that it 
might tend to separate the Western country from the 
Atlantic States. His ideas slowly expanded from an 
Atlantic border to a Continental republic. He wished to 
draw commerce down the little streams that run through 
the old colonies. In these views he was by no means 
singular, the general opinion of the time being that the 
chief value of the Western lands was for the payment of 
the public debt. 

By degrees, however, the pioneers in Kentucky began 

spam refuses a free to make tneir influence felt, more particular- 
navigation. ly in the gtates f Virginia and North Caro- 

lina, whence many of them had come; and negotiations 
were entered into with Spain (1785) to yield the free 
navigation of the Mississippi. This, however, through 
her minister Guardoqui, she positively refused to do, 
offering, however, a commercial treaty on other points 
which would have been very favorable to the Middle and 
Northern States. This led at once to an antagonism be- 


tween the South and the North, the former insisting on 
the acquisition of the river, the latter being willing to 
yield it for the sake of the advantages of the proposed 
commercial treaty. Meantime some American property 
was seized by the Spaniards at Natchez. The exasperated 
Western men, aided by filibusters from Virginia, were 
not slow in retaliating. They thought that they were 
being sacrificed to the cupidity of the Atlan- 
neers are resolved tic States, and determined that thev would 
neither pay tribute to the Spaniards, who 
held the mouth of the river, nor wait for the internal 
improvement recommended by Washington ; nay, more, 
they contemplated resistance to Congress. The older 
states at this time had no conception of the importance 
of the Valley, nor of the fact that there was an absolute 
political necessity to have an outlet to the sea for its 
produce. The northern portion of them adopted the idea 
of Washington, that the possession of the river would be 
of more harm than good ; that it would turn the front of 
the republic, or lead to a division. 

Mr. Adams, referring subsequently to these events, ob- 
serves : " The Secretary for Foreign Affairs 

Mi*. Adams's ac- /hit t \ 1Jx/~i 

count of the do- (Mr. Jay) recommended to Congress a com- 

mystic distant© ^~^ 

arising from this promise with Spain, by the proposal of a 

question. ■*■ t •i»-i/»i 

commercial treaty, m which, for an adequate 
equivalent of commercial advantages to the United States, 
they, without renouncing the right to the navigation of 
the Mississippi, should stipulate a forbearance of the ex- 
ercise of that right for a term of twenty-five or thirty 
years, to which the duration of the treaty should be lim- 

" This proposal excited the most acrimonious and irri- 
tated struggle between the delegations of the Northern 
and Southern divisions of the Union which had ever yet 
occurred, the representation from the seven Northern 


states unanimously agreeing to authorize the stipulation 
recommended by the secretary, and the five Southern 
states, with the exception of one member, being equally 
earnest for rejecting it. The State of Delaware was not 
then represented. In the animated and passionate de- 
bates on a series of questions originating in this inauspi- 
cious controversy, the delegates from Massachusetts, and 
among them especially Kufus King, took a warm and dis- 
tinguished part in favor of the proposition of the secre- 
tary, while the opposition to it was maintained with an 
earnestness equally intense, and with ability not less pow- 
erful, by the delegation from Virginia, and among them 
pre-eminently by Mr. Monroe. The adverse interests and 
opposite views of policy brought into conflict by these 
transactions produced a coldness and mutual alienation 
between the northern and southern divisions of the 
Union which is not extinguished to this day. It gave 
rise to rankling jealousies and festering prejudices, not 
only of the North and the South against each other, but 
of each section against the ablest and most virtuous pa- 
triots of the other." 

Washington's opinions in 1786 respecting the opening 
Washington's let- of tne Mississippi are given in a letter he 
tertoLee. wrote in June of that year to Henry Lee. 

"The advantages with which the inland navigation of 
the rivers Potomac and James is pregnant must strike 
every mind that reasons upon the subject ; but there is, I 
perceive, a diversity of sentiment respecting the benefits 
and consequences which may flow from the free and im- 
mediate use of the Mississippi. My opinion of this mat- 
ter has been uniformly the same, and no light in which I 
have been able to consider the subject is likely to change 
it. It is neither to relinquish nor to push our claim to 
this navigation, but, in the mean while, to open all the 
communications which Nature has afforded between the 


Atlantic States and the Western territory, and to encour- 
age the use of them to the utmost. In my judgment, it 
is matter of very serious concern to the well-being of the 
former to make it the interest of the latter to trade with 
them, without which the ties of consanguinity, which are 
weakening every day, will soon be no bond, and we shall 
be no more, a few years hence, to the inhabitants of that 
country than the British and Spaniards are at this day — 
not so much, indeed, because commercial connexions, it is 
well known, lead to others, and, united, are difficult to be 
broken. These must take place with the Spaniards if 
the navigation of the Mississippi is opened. Clear I am 
that it would be for the interest of the Western settlers 
as low down the Ohio as the Big Kenhawa, and back to 
the lakes, to bring their produce through one of the chan- 
nels I have named ; but the way must be cleared, and 
made easy and obvious to them, or else the ease with 
which people glide down streams will give a different 
bias to their thinking and acting. Whenever the new 
states become so populous and so extended to the west- 
ward as really to need it, there will be no power which 
can deprive them of the use of the Mississippi. Why, 
then, should we prematurely urge a matter which is dis- 
pleasing, and may produce disagreeable consequences, if 
it is our interest to let it sleep ?" 

Jefferson, writing from Paris (1787) to Madison, says: 

Jefferson's letter to " l nave had g reat opportunities of knowing 
Madison. ^ e character of the people who inhabit that 

country, and I will venture to say that the act which 
abandons the navigation of the Mississippi is an act of 
separation between the Eastern and Western country. It 
is a relinquishment of five parts out of eight of the terri- 
tory of the United States — an abandonment of the fairest 
subject for the payment of our public debts, and the 
chaining those debts on our own necks in perpetuation. 


I have the utmost confidence in the honest intentions of 
those who concur in this measure, but I lament their 
want of acquaintance with the character and physical ad- 
vantages of the people, who, right or wrong, will suppose 
their interests sacrificed on this occasion to the contrary 
interests of that part of the Confederacy in possession of 
present power. If they declare themselves a separate 
people, we are incapable of a single effort to retain them. 
Our citizens can never be induced, either as militia or as 
soldiers, to go there to cut the throats of their own broth- 
ers and sons, or rather to be themselves the subjects in- 
stead of the perpetrators of the parricide. Nor would 
that country quit the cost of being retained against the 
will of its inhabitants, could it be done. But it can not 
be done. They are able already to rescue the navigation 
of the Mississippi out of the hands of Spain, and to add 
New Orleans to their own territory ; they will be joined 
by the inhabitants of Louisiana." 

By the Convention of 1787 the Mississippi Question 
The navigation at was referred to the new government, with a 
length acquired, declaration that the free navigation of the 
river was a clear and essential right of the United States. 
The controversy was finally settled by the French acqui- 
sition of Louisiana, and the purchase of that country from 
Napoleon by Mr. Jefferson. 

Though there have been many fortunate events in 
American history, perhaps there has not been one more 
fortunate than this ; for, rising superior to the traditions 
that surrounded him, Mr. Jefferson broke through consti- 
tutional ties, and, appealing to the good sense of the na- 
tion, purchased Louisiana, and with it the ownership of 
Great impulse to tne Mississippi. He gave the republic the 
Sent r inthe v pS" great valley, conferred on it the great river, 
chase of Louisiana. on wMdi Americans were on]y tolerated by 

the Spanish treaty of 1795, and afforded it a free expan- 


sion to the Pacific Ocean. Under a New-England Pres- 
ident that important measure would not have been ac- 
complished; the opportune moment, once permitted to 
pass by, would never have returned. At this time the 
national ideas of New England had not surpassed those 
that were combated by Franklin before the Eevolution. 
According to them, the American people ought not to be 
encouraged to spread beyond the Alleghany Mountains, 
the Atlantic border being their proper and limited abode. 
As it was, Massachusetts viewed, not without concern, the 
introduction of new territories and prospective states, 
which might neutralize her weight in the political bal- 
ance, and, in conformity with these views, resisted as far 
as she could the reception of Louisiana as a state in 1812. 

In the description of Northern diffusion I have alluded 
to the effect of the Irish and German immigration upon 
the American element. 

It remains now to follow the same course with the 
Southern. In this case, however, the influence arose from 
an exceedingly extraneous cause — the negro. 

The American element at the South guarded itself 
m . .... . with the strictest jealousy from any such 

The white popula- m *> , . 

pi°e n S e r f ves e it S s phV baleful contamination. Public opinion, rest- 
loiogicai punty. -^ U p 0I1 na tural instincts, absolutely pro- 
hibited it. The white population of the slave states in- 
tuitively appreciated what physiologists have determined 
by observation, that nations degenerate in proportion to 
their mixture with inferior races. Every where was rec- 
ognized the necessity of excluding the faintest trace of 
color. Intermixture with base blood leads to a more 
rapid degeneration than the most noxious climate. The 
white population of the South maintained itself in a con- 
dition of purity ; the adulteration that took place was al- 
together experienced by the black. 


Not less than twenty-three varieties or crosses are enu- 
merated as arising from the intermixture of 
KundergoSrap- the white, the Indian, and the negro. They 

id adulteration. ..- . . . ,, , ., . n . 

are all intrinsically and necessarily interior 
to the pure white. 

But, though the white race in the South was thus 
continuaii in- maintaining its physiological purity, it was 
ne e ousnf S s o??fe e " undergoing change, and becoming yearly 

more and more homogeneous. The sparse 
population of plantation life implied a restricted circle 
of friendships, a narrow range of intermarriage. Hence 
the origin of the remark, often made in the South, that 
every one is every one's cousin. The infusion of extra- 
neous blood of equal value which took place so largely at 
the North was here impossible because of the absence of 
immigration. The distinctive lineaments of the Southern 
whites continually became more sharply, more exclusive- 
ly defined. A sameness in the population, originating in 
this manner, was re-enforced by a sameness in pursuits. 
There was a common direction of thought, and in the in- 
stitution of slavery a common political bond. 

Thus, side by side, in the free states and in the slave 
The North and the states, partly through an initial social dif- 
Inu'auymoreVifr " ference, partly through climate, interests, and 

tinctly separate. ,• i? Vi? j. T j_* j. ±. m Vi.* 

avocations ot lite, two distinct nationalities 
were tending to form. 

In the North the population was in a state of unceas- 
occupationsand in g activity ; there was corporeal and men- 
NortheSpopSL tal restlessness. Magnificent cities in all di- 
rections were arising ; the country was in- 
tersected, with canals, railroads, telegraphs; wherever 
navigation was possible there were steam-boats in the 
rivers. Companies for banking, manufacturing, commer- 
cial purposes, were often concentrating many millions of 


capital. There were all kinds of associations for relig- 
ious, charitable, educational purposes. Churches, hospi- 
tals, schools, abounded. The foreign commerce at length 
rivaled that of the most powerful nations of Europe. 
This wonderful spectacle of social development was the 

result of Individualism, operating in an un- 
its governing prin- , liii n t\ 

cipie is individual- bounded theatre oi action. Jiverv one was 

ism. , *> 

seeking to do all that he could for himself. 
But under this splendid prosperity great evils lay con- 
cealed. The family tie was weakened. Children left 
their home the moment they could take- care of them- 
selves. Life became an Arab warfare. The recognized 
standard of social position was wealth. No other crite- 
rion could be established, for all were originally on a 
level, and wealth became the only distinction. There 
was an irresistible tendency to the subdivision and scat- 
tering of property. 

In the South, if the ostensible prosperity was less, the 
occupations and actua ;l happiness was not inferior. Society 
■ southern popSt was in a condition of repose; the planters 
were hospitable and proud. Few, except 
those in affluent circumstances, had been in foreign coun- 
tries ; and, unacquainted with the fictitious wants of civ- 
ilization, the people were content with their own lot, in 
their simplicity imagining that there was nothing bet- 
ter in the world. The youth did not despise rural avo- 
cations, and rush to the towns in pursuit of instant for- 
tune. Mr. Wise says : " We have no cities, but we have 
an ameliorated country population, civilized in the soli- 
tude, gracious in the amenities of life, refined and con- 
servative in social habits. We have little associated, but 
more individual wealth. We have no mechanical arts. 
Our labor is better employed than in manufacturing im- 
plements for ourselves. We have no commerce, but we 
supply its pabulum. We have slaves under a benign 


domestic rule, and masters having leisure to cultivate 
morals, manners, philosophy, politics." 

Like the monastic institutions of the Middle Ages, 
influence of pianta- plantation life tends to distribute population 
tion life upon it. evenly. Manufacturing and commercial life 
tends to concentrate it. Communities of this kind may 
become excessively wealthy; they may be stimulated into 
rapid improvement, but they are always liable to violent 
social oscillations. The commercial speculator may be 
the owner of millions to-day, and a ruined man to-mor- 
row. He can push forward his operations for gain, and 
crowd great results into a single hour. The agricultur- 
ist can not hasten the processes on which he depends ; he 
must wait the slow movement of Nature and the seasons, 
and hence in his communities there is less excitement, 
less anxiety, and less of the delirium of life. Not but 
that wealth will show even in such communities its in- 
evitable tendency to concentration. In the South there 
were rich planters and poor whites; families living in 
princely affluence, and others struggling for existence in 

Great cities are great solitudes. In their crowded 
streets wickedness successfully hides itself — 

Relative morality n . . -., iii i 

of the two popu- a fair exterior too well conceals the rotten- 

lations. • . 

ness within. When we reflect how little the 
passions of men are under control, the open dissoluteness 
of one community being equaled by the secret crime of 
another — in Protestant England the number of illegiti- 
mates in 1845 was 70 per thousand of the whole number 
of births; in Catholic France it was 71 — we shall, per- 
haps, be disposed to suspect that the unconcealable vice 
of the Southern plantations, openly manifested in the con- 
tinually increasing proportion of mulatto births, was not 
without its invisible equivalent in the awful prostitution 
of the Northern cities. 
I— O 


Individualism was the governing principle of the North, 
Independence that of the South. In the 

Governing princi- -, -, . -, . , 

pies of the North former, each man was pursuing* his own wel- 

and the South. 7 . * . _ ° 

tare against all the rest ; in the latter, apart 
from the rest. The one was connected with the compe- 
titions of compact society, the other with the isolation of 
plantation life. 

Each year the social divergence of these two great 
. , a communities was becoming; more marked. 

Continual tendency m <-> 

nities%o w div C e°rg- mu " ^ was obvious to every observant person 
ence * that it would at length find political expres- 

sion. Intercommunication, which so powerfully smooths 
the asperities of rivalry, did not keep pace with the in- 
crease of population and territorial spread. 



The transition of the English from a stagnant to a progressive condition is due to 
the influence of Individualism, which, coming into operation as a consequence 
of the Norman conquest, gradually gained strength in the Middle Ages, and re- 
ceived a sudden impulse from the discovery of America and the legislation of 
Henry VII. Its immediate issues were, development of the maritime power of 
England, colonization of Atlantic North America, and partition of the English- 
speaking race into two portions, insular and continental. The unrestrained in- 
dividualism of the latter in the free states of America is the cause of their ex- 
traordinary prosperity and political progress. 

The North founds her political system on the individ- 
ual, the South founds hers on the family ; hence the for- 
mer is powerfully progressive, the latter conservative. 

Both these political systems spring from conditions 

that may be traced in the ancestral Anglo- 

psVSstoiTneed- Norman stock. They are the legitimate is- 

ful for the inter- /» i j i i 1 * i • i n 

pretatioii of Amer- sue ot what had been taking place tor many 

icanlife. . . b r . J 

centuries m England. Not without curios- 
ity and instruction may we therefore trace their rise. A 
philosophical study of the course either of England or 
of America will cast light on that of the other. Amer- 
ican history can not be understood — no true interpreta- 
tion of the events of American life can be given, except 
by a profound study of English history and English life. 
I propose, therefore, to devote a few pages to a descrip- 
tion of the circumstances under which indi- 
SaSm n |r e a C duti- vidualism arose in England, and the extra- 

ly displaced in En- -% • . . -, . , . , . . . , 

giand by individ- ordinary events to which it has given birth, 

ualism. * ° 

to show that, so long as this principle was 
without force, the nation was unprogressive ; that as soon 


as loyalty and ecclesiasticism, which alone, in her earlier 
days, governed her life, gave way to individualism, and 
every man was free to seek his own advancement, there 
was a rapid development. Her later political revolutions 
were the expression of that principle, as was likewise her 
religious revolution — the acceptance of the Reformation. 
It was the assertion of the right of conscience in the indi- 
vidual as against authority in the Church. 

There are two great facts in the history of England : 
The eriodsof -^ s ^ -^ n a PP aren ^ social stagnation, exhib- 

v§o?me£t ofEn^ e " ited by the population for much more than 
giish life. a thousand years, from the fifth to the end 

of the sixteenth century. 

2d. A wonderful material and intellectual development 
displayed subsequently. 

We may watch the shadow on a sun-dial without be- 
ing able to detect that it is moving; if, however, we ex- 
amine it at intervals, from time to time, the change is very 

So with society, we may read its continuous history 
without recognizing any essential change ; but if our ob- 
servation be directed in succession to epochs some dis- 
tance apart, the movement, whether direct or retrograde, 
may be clearly discerned. 

Let us try to realize the social condition of England 
during the first of those periods — then we may compare 
it mentally with the same country as we know it now. 

After the Romans abandoned it, there had been inva- 
sions of Picts and Scots, invasions of Sax- 

Depressing effect . . /» t^ -r» -i ti 

of the saxon and ons, invasions oi Danes. Personal liberty, 

Norman conquests. , , 1 .... -. . ,, . . 

half struggling into life, again and again was, 
lost. The light of literature, kindled by Bede and King 
Alfred, by Alcuin and Erigena, as well as that upon the 
domestic hearthstone, was extinguished at the melan- 
choly sound of the evening curfew-bell. 


From the Norman Conquest to the fifteenth century 
the hopes of the country lay in the monasteries. Monas- 
tic institutions were the receptacle into which were 
brought the ameliorating influences of foreign countries, 
especially the influences of Italy and Spain. They were 
the foci from which issued the feeble glimmerings of 
knowledge. In them were fondly cherished the poor re- 
mains of ancient literature ; in them were conceived those 
noble ecclesiastical structures, which, more than any thing 
else, softened the brutal manners of the times. In those 
tranquil retreats the tonsured brethren often found bet- 
ter occupation than in the weary telling of their beads. 

In 1430 iEneas Sylvius, who subsequently became Pope 
sodai condition in Pi us H., visited England and Scotland. Of 

the Middle Ages. ^ QJf ^ m()gt influential ItaJian f am ili es? 

familiar with the highest contemporary civilization, a 
great officer of the Church, engaged in a mission of much 
responsibility, a keen observer of affairs, and, like many 
others of his countrymen, though an ecclesiastic, a man 
of the world, his observations and remarks are of the ut- 
most value. To his eye the people among whom he jour- 
neyed were in a semi-barbarous state. In the north, the 
houses, in what were called cities, were built of stones 
put together without mortar; the roofs were often of 
turf. The cottages had no other door than a dried and 
stiffened bull's hide. In Scotland the forest peasantry 
lived on the coarsest food, often on the bark of trees ; 
bread was accounted a rare delicacy. Over the border, 
in England, it was but little better. From one of the 
monasteries where he had lain — in the monasteries good 
living might always be found — he had brought a supply 
of bread and wine. The English women gratified their 
curiosity by breaking the bread into fragments, and hand- 
ing it to one another to smell and giggle at. With no 
little graphic effect, he relates the adventures of a night 


spent with a hundred women, sitting in the smoke of a 
blazing chimneyless fire, spinning hemp. In London it- 
self, the prominent object was a crazy old bridge over 
the Thames. 

At the end of the twelfth century the houses of the 
mechanics and burgesses in that metropolis 

Helpless and hope- n -. , °, , , _ 

less condition of were ot wood, thatched with straw, or cov- 

the lower classes. f ' ' 

ered over with reeds. In the country the cot- 
tages were constructed of stakes driven into the ground, 
interwoven with wattles, plastered with mud, and cover- 
ed with flakes of bark or the boughs of trees. Society 
had at that time become separated into two portions, a 
rich and a poor, without any intervening middle class. 
The baron and the ecclesiastic engrossed all that was 
worth having. • They left the fen to the peasant. The 
death-rate was fearfully high, and during many centuries 
the population remained in an almost stationary condi- 
tion. A shiftless agriculture furnished sparing supplies 
of food ; hence there was an unceasing check on the num- 
ber of births. Autumnal fevers, originating in hundreds 
of miles of undrained marsh, spread a periodical desola- 
tion through the cabins. The lot of the lower — -the labor- 
ing classes, for many ages had undergone no ameliora- 
tion ; their health and social happiness were equally un- 
cared for. In a political sense, they were only animals 
valuable for what their work could produce. They were 
expected to manifest loyalty to the king, and obedience 
to the church. They could not better their condition. 
There was no career open for them — except to the grave. 

But how was it with the higher class, who represented 
whatever intelligence the country contained ? After the 
lapse of so many centuries, is it possible for us to discern 
the mental progress they were making, or to satisfy our- 
selves that they were stagnant too ? 

Geologists, from a laborious study of the petrified re- 


Gradual change in malllS the J filld in the eartlb > ^imals and 

SdiStfdb/arch? plants turned into stone, arrive at conclusions 
tectnnd changes. of un( ioubted certainty respecting the natu- 
ral world. They show how climates have changed, and 
how the warmth of the globe has declined ; they show 
how there has been an age of invertebrate life, an age of 
reptiles, an age of mammals ; how race after race has be- 
come extinct, and how, in a due order of ascending pro- 
gression, many new-comers have appeared. 

Are there then for the historian also, relics of the past, 
capable of guiding him to conclusions equally true and 
reliable — evidences presenting an embodiment of a thing 
so shadowy and intangible as the mental progress of man? 

The churches, the abbeys, the monasteries are the pet- 
rified thoughts of our ancestors of the Middle Ages — 
their hopes, their aspirations, turned into stone. 

It is said that while the two armies lay face to face the 
night before the battle of Hastings, the Saxons spent the 
hours in drinking and dancing, the Normans in devotion 
and prayer. The gloomy spirit of the conquerors found 
its expression in their architecture, for architecture not 
only indicates the wealth, taste, civilization of a people, 
it is a mark of their science and art ; above all, it reveals 
their social character. The Norman ecclesiastical edifices, 
with their characteristic semicircular arches, their thick 
and solid walls, unbuttressed and standing firm by their 
own mass, their clumsy, stunted columns, incapable of re- 
lief by such inadequate devices as spirals and lozenge-cut 
net-work, the capitals plain, or at the best decorated with 
foliage or animal designs, the narrow and circular-headed 
windows, grouped into twos or threes, and reluctantly 
giving ingress to light — those gloomy churches were in 
unison with the spirit of their gloomy worshipers. 

But what is the meaning of the change that steals over 
these edifices about the close of the twelfth century? 


Whence come those pointed arches, lofty in 

The heavy Norman .. , ,i * ,<i • -i 

is replaced by the proportion to their span, the single massive 

elegant Gothic. * r r -~cr 

column transmuted into many frail and clus- 
tering ones, the high-pitched roof, with its pinnacles and 
spires ? What is the tone of thought revealed by the 
architecture of a hundred years later — the gradually wid- 
ening arches, the lancet-shaped window, no longer pre- 
senting one, or, at the most, two divisions, but separated 
by numerous and fantastic mullions into leaves, roses, 
wheels, fans, fitted with gorgeously stained glass, and let- 
ting in the many-colored light ? What is the meaning of 
those ceilings vaulted and covered with tracery, pendents 
sustained upon nothing, canopies with delicate lace-work, 
and fretted roofs — what of those bold buttresses that 
give strength, the pre-calculated strength demanded by 
the thin and lofty walls? What is the historical inter- 
pretation of this replacement of the clumsy semicircular 
arch by the beautiful pointed Gothic? Is it that the 
Norman is becoming weary of the gloom of earth, and is 
seeking more light from heaven ? 

Peter the Venerable, the friend and protector of Abe- 
lard, relates that when he resided at Cordova, 

This change orig- • o • i . .,1 t t 

inates in Arabian m opam, he met with many learned men 


from England who were devoting them- 
selves to study among the Moors. This was near the 
beginning of the twelfth century. Through these ecclesi- 
astics a great intellectual change was inaugurated in the 
British islands. It found an embodiment in a change of 
architecture. That which we speak of as the Gothic 
style was of Arabian origin, introduced into Western 
Europe by the Spanish Moors. It left in many parts of 
England superb examples of its beauty, and reached a 
splendid culmination in such cathedrals as those of Stras- 
burg and Cologne. 

To these immortal conceptions there is a wide remove 


from the structures of split oak logs, covered in with 
reeds, of the middle period of Anglo-Saxon life. The 
church that Paulinus built at York, in the seventh cen- 
tury, with its leaky roof, and windows of linen cloth, or 
of latticed wood, through which the little birds flew in 
and out, building their nests in the interior, and defiling 
the very altar itself, was the humble precursor of a match- 
less pile, with its marigold lights, and windows repre- 
senting in glass a mimic embroidery, or recording, in gor- 
geous hues, the incidents of the Holy Bible. Succeeding 
architects have not failed to express their admiration and 
astonishment at many of these grand edifices, which ex- 
emplify the highest perfection of mechanical science, both 
in preparatory calculation and actual execution, by exhib- 
iting the greatest possible effect produced with the least 
possible means. 

Architecture had been changing in England because 
.--.-; . thought had been changing. The accumu- 

And indicates a O o o 

taUhan|e 1 iiThe a " lated sufferings of many ages, through foreign 
conquest and domestic war, had twice arrest- 
ed all innate power of expansion. In a politically crush- 
ed community an individual is nothing. The Romanized 
Briton had been destroyed by the Saxon, the Saxon sub- 
jugated by the Norman. Of the great mass of the popu- 
lation in the twelfth century, it may be said that their 
life was no more than waiting for death. The thought 
of the nation was turned to religion ; in that it found con- 
solation and rest. 

But this architectural transition implies a transition in . 
national sentiment — a gradual emergence from that for- 
lorn state prevailing in the tenth century, and spoken of 
contemptuously even by the monks as too base to pro- 
duce so much as a heresy. It indicates a passage from 
that to a higher and better condition. It was the conse- 
quence of a mental change in the higher classes, the cause 
of a corresponding one in the lower. 


William of Malmesbury, speaking of the degraded 
manners of the Anglo-Saxons, says : " Their 

Deplorable condi- -., -, , -i . -i ■ i i -i , 

tion of Angio-sax- nobles, devoted to gluttony and voluptuous- 
ness, never visited the church, but the mat- 
ins and the mass were run over to them by a hurrying 
priest in their bed-chambers before they rose, themselves 
not listening. The common people were a prey to the 
more powerful; their property was seized, their bodies 
dragged away to distant countries; their maidens were 
either thrown into a brothel or sold for slaves. Drink- 
ing day and night was the general pursuit ; vices, the com- 
panions of inebriety, followed, effeminating the manly 
mind." This worn-out and degenerate race 

Characteristic indi- -iiin ,i t^ji i 

viduaiismofthe was supplanted by the sedate, the austere 

higher Normans. A ^ ,_ _ . _ _ 

Normans, lovers of magnificent edifices, fond 
of pomp, avaricious of personal distinction, and seeking 
an individual and earthly immortality. 

By degrees the bacchanal Saxon monks yielded to the 

new intrusive influence, imperceptibly im- 

Gradual ameliora- -. .-■ . -vt j_1 • j_ I? 1 "I J T 

tion under the Nor- bibing a JN orman thirst tor knowledge. Lan- 
franc, a Lombard by birth, who had founded 
the Abbey of Bee, and revived in it a taste for Latin 
literature, an energetic and an able man, was brought to 
England by "William the Conqueror, and made Archbish- 
op of Canterbury. In all directions, through his agency, 
schools were established ; there was one connected with 
every cathedral, and almost with every prominent monas- 
tery. The collection of libraries and the copying of 
books were organized. In some of the large institutions 
it was made obligatory on every abbot to keep a good 
writer. Among the higher classes there were examples 
of distinction in learning ; thus Henry I., the son of the 
Conqueror, received the name of Beauclerc in allusion to 
his scholarly attainments. The transcribing of books was 
an amusement of the leisure hours of many great ecclesi- 


astics. A rivalry in neatness of transcription gradually 
arose, and as fast as books became accessible they were 
multiplied. Latin was thus disseminated — an incident of 
no small value in giving tone to the commencing vernac- 
ular literature. 

In the development of that literature the Greek lan- 
guage took no part. In consequence of the political re- 
lations of the Roman Church since the revolt of the Popes 
from their Byzantine sovereigns, it had become almost 
unknown. Two hundred years after the time of which I 
am speaking there was hardly any one in Italy who could 
translate the easiest sentence in it. When the study of 
it was revived, it told with singular force on the tone of 
religious thought throughout all Latin Europe. 

The Norman monks at first attempted the composition 
of chronicles, annals, histories. In this they 

They seek to per- -., ,,..-. . .. . „ 

petuate their per- were encouraged by that inborn instinct or 

sonal history. . i • i r» l • n • • 

their race which found gratification in the 
building of edifices intended to last forever. Individual- 
ism was beginning to emerge. They hoped to live after 
death. Thus the Count of Gloucester desired William of 
Malmesbury to write his history, and the Bishop of Lin- 
coln induced Henry of Huntingdon to compile his An- 

English literature was born of minstrelsy. Vagrant 
poets, who, if deficient in voice, attached themselves to 
jongleurs, wandered all over the country with their mu 
sic and merry-andrew performances. As the vagabond 
exhibitor of Punch and Judy still attracts delighted au- 
diences to hear his oft-repeated story of the trials, sor- 
rows, and final triumph of the hunchback hero, so those 

" mynstales, chaunters, and j anglers," with 
patronize vemacu- their gitterns and tabrets, fiddles, trumpets, 

Iar literature, °. / ' * 

harps, and pipes, never tailed of a welcome. 
Our more refined manners would be shocked at the prof- 


ligate obscenity of their "losel tales and fayr gestes." 
Not unfrequently the point of their story bore upon the 
gay life of an ecclesiastic. Among the more gifted of the 
brotherhood, some found their way to the hall of the 
baron and chamber of the ladies. There were king's 
minstrels and queen's minstrels, and even those in the 
pay of bishops, whose banquets were enlivened by their 
songs as soon as grace had been said. 

The monks, from these their lewd enemies, caught the 
infection, happily, however, directing their exertions to 
better and higher things. Historical poems, like those 
of Wace and Benoit, incorporating the story of the siege 
of Troy, and the adventures of Ulysses and iEneas, with 
English history, attained a wonderful celebrity. The use 
of Latin, a foreign and dead language, had formerly re- 
stricted such effusions to persons of education, but in 
the vernacular, " the moder tonge," they were the de- 
light of every one, from Mathilda and pretty Alice, " Bel 
Aeliz," the Queens of Henry I., down to the humblest 

There was thus a gradual improvement in English so- 
ciety throughout the reigns of its French kings. As a 
recollection of the national suffering caused by invasions 
and conquests was lost, the gayety of the minstrel, the so- 
briety of the friar, the natural wonders of the alchemist, 
began to exert their influence. It would 

And delight in a , -. „ 

more beautiful lead me too tar from my present purpose to 

architecture. , ... 

describe how all these agencies in reality 
originated in movements that had been occurring in Spain. 
Thence came the sentiment that could no longer be satis- 
fied with the dim religious light that streamed through 
gloomy Norman windows, a sentiment that found conge- 
niality in splendid and lofty, bright and beautiful build- 

In the consideration of the history of England in this 


physical condition ner stagnant period, if we turn from the in- 
t°w s \efr g st 8 a^n n ant tellectual to the physical, we shall find the 
conclusions at which we have arrived cor- 
roborated. We need not search through the works of 
those who have treated of the social condition of the 
country in its successive ages for information — a far more 
unquestionable form of evidence is before us. 

If the circumstances under which a community is liv- 
ing be as advantageous as possible, that corn- 
stationary condi- ° ■ •-I-IT ii», t • ,-i i 

tion ofthepopuia- mumty will double its numbers m the short 

tion. *> 

space of twenty-five years. The " generative 
force of society," as writers who have studied these sub- 
jects designate that instinct which gives rise to the multi- 
plication of individuals, remains at all periods unchanged 
in intensity, but the resistances to life — the want of food, 
of clothing, of shelter, of comforts generally, keep the 
number down. These resistances may assume such a pro- 
portion as to make a society stationary in number for any 
assignable time — nay, more, they may be so powerful as 
to effect its diminution. The population of England at 
the time of the Norman Conquest was about two mil- 
lions. But did it double in twenty-five years ? In the 
time of William. III., at the close of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, it had done little more than reach five and a quar- 
ter millions. 

What, then, does this stationary condition of the popu- 
The causes of that lation mean ? It means food obtained with 
hardship, insufficient clothing, personal un- 
cleanness, cabins that could not keep out the weather, 
the destructive effect of cold and heat, miasm, want of 
sanitary provisions, absence of physicians, uselessness of 
shrine-cure, the deceptiveness of miracles in which society 
was putting its trust, or — to sum up a long catalogue of 
sorrows, wants, and sufferings in one term — it means a 
high death-rate. 


But more — it means deficient births. And what does 
that point out ? Marriage postponed, licentious life, pri- 
vate wickedness, demoralized society. 

To an American who lives in a country that was yes- 
terday an interminable and impenetrable desert, but 
which to-day is filling with a population doubling itself 
every twenty-five years at the prescribed rate, this awful 
waste of actual and contingent life can not but be a most 
surprising fact. His curiosity will lead him to inquire 
what kind of system that could have been which was 
pretending to guide and develop society, and which must 
be held responsible for this prodigious destruction, ex- 
celling, in its insidious result, war, pestilence, and famine 
combined — insidious, for men were actually believing 
that it secured their highest temporal interests. How 
different now! The same geographical surface is sus- 
taining ten times the population of that day, and sending 
forth its emigrating swarms. Let him who looks back 
with veneration to the past settle in his own mind what 
such a system could have been worth. 

In a nation there may have been continuous develop- 
ment, and yet, at the end of a thousand years, no well- 
marked social advance. In British society two arrests 
of progressive movement had occurred — the first occa- 
sioned by the Saxons, the second by the Normans. Aft- 
er the Norman Conquest the work had all to be recom- 

The population, then about to make a third, and, as it 
inborn disposition P™ved, successful advance, must ^ be regard- 
pL^naSen 8 ^ 01 " ed as intrinsically superior to either of its 
predecessors. The enterprising Normans, is- 
suing from their native seats, had ravaged the coasts of 
Europe, and settled permanently in France. They ob- 
tained possessions in Italy and Sicily, and made their mil- 


itary prowess felt as far as Palestine. A support extort- 
ed from the earth by hard agricultural labor creates a 
cautious, self-denying population, but successful piracy 
breeds lavish expenditure, a taste for personal ornament, 
splendid dwellings, delicate food. What is gained with 
ease is spent with prodigality. Among the worn-out 
Saxons, crushed down by foreign invasion and domestic 
discord, the vigorous Normans were infused. 
An intrusive race permanently settling in a country 
becomes gradually modified until it is in ac- 

They become as- ■* «n ,i t » -it • i • 

simiiated with the cordance with the climate and physical cir- 

Saxons, and impart . . ., 

to them that quai- cumstances surrounding it. Assimilated to 
the population upon whom it had forced it- 
self, it imparts to them and receives from them an im- 
press, the depth of which depends on their relative 

Three hundred years after the Norman Conquest, so 
completely had this assimilation between the Normans 
and the Saxons taken place, partly through climate and 
partly through intermarriage, that a homogeneous prod- 
uct — the English people — had arisen. 

A very important fact indicates the completion of this 
_ .-„_.. change. It was resolved in the reign of 

Epoch of the dis- <=> o 

of n the re E C S|iish on Edward III. that all the laws of the realm 
people. should be written in English instead of 

Norman-French, as had heretofore been the case. 

It has been remarked that ecclesiasticism and loyalty 
were the early guides of Anglo-Norman society. We 
have now to relate how these were gradually sapped, and 
in their place individualism steadily emerged. 

At the Conquest the Norman clergy had forced them- 
selves into the seats of their Saxon prede- 
NoSian S ind S md^ cessors, under the direct authority of the 

ualism. -_^ t ' V /» -i/-^ 

Pope. Loyal at first to the Catholic power 
which had thus sanctified their usurpation, they exhibit- 


ed a declining submissiveness as time wore on, and dur- 
ing the life of Wickliffe were ready for revolt. By the 
advice of that great man, Edward III. refused to do hom- 
age to the Pope. 

To use the phraseology I have adopted in my " History 
of the Intellectual Development of Europe," the nation 
was passing through its " Age of Faith," and approaching 
its " Age of Reason." Monkish legends and miracles that 
had satisfied it in the eleventh century, could do so no 
more. A craving for knowledge was manifested in all 
directions. It was this that gave such special importance 
to Wickliffe's translation of the Bible. So in the indi- 
vidual, as manhood is reached, nursery tales are looked 
back upon with a smile. Parental discipline must change. 
Trivial motives and modes of appeal that once had force, 
lose all their power. The family can now be controlled 
only by addressing its understanding. 

A fortunate circumstance paralyzed the English eccle- 
siastical establishment, incapacitating it from 

They struggle • • ■ • . t 

against itafian any vigorous opposition to popular progress, 
and, indeed, to an extent by no means insig- 
nificant, making it promote that progress. When, in the 
reign of Henry III., certain English dignitaries appeared 
before the Pope, he was astonished at their splendid cos- 
tumes of gold brocade, and involuntarily exclaimed, re- 
vealing the policy that had so long animated the Italian 
court, " Truly England is a garden of delight. It is an 
unexhausted well. Where so much abounds much may 
be acquired." Matthew Paris speaks of the detestable 
papal extortions, and affirms that the revenues taken by 
the foreign clergy from the kingdom were thrice that of 
the king himself. The king and the Pope were thus 
competitors in extorting money from the Church, and, as 
the exactions of the latter were greater and more galling 
than those of the former, disloyalty to Rome increased. 


Large incomes were withdrawn by hundreds of Italian 
priests, " who had neither seen nor cared to see their 
flocks." The importunate exactions of the sovereign 
pontiff, who, seizing much, was ever demanding more, 
perpetually checked the English priesthood in its tend- 
ency to Roman affiliation, and necessarily weakened it in 
its domestic position. 

But, in spite of this paralysis, the Church, possessing 
more than half the landed property and mil- 

And eventually as- . . . /» ,1 , i • i >_ • ii 

sen their religious itary tenures oi the country, besides tithes 

indcpcn deuce 

and many other official dues, was able to 
hold, for a time, a paramount control in the government. 
All the great state officers were ecclesiastics. The Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury had more than once been a most 
formidable antagonist to the king. Impatient of such 
rivalry, the powerful barons, therefore, never ceased their 
exertions to exclude ecclesiastics from the national coun- 
cils and political power ; and as enlightenment and here- 
sy spread among the common people, it came to pass at 
length that the Church had three antagonists to encoun- 
ter — the king, the nobles, the people. Before such a con- 
federacy it was impossible for her to stand. This grad- 
ual weakening was the secret of the often-remarked fee- 
ble resistance she exhibited when finally assaulted by 
Henry VIII. 

It is true that among these confederated powers there 
had been in the play of political events occasional but 
short-lived complications. Thus Henry IV. was con- 
strained by his position to rely on the clergy, and, in- 
deed, attempted to found his dynasty on the principle of 
a united church and state. For this he conceded to his 
ecclesiastical ally the power of suppressing heresy by fire. 
Under him the first English martyrs were burned. But, 
abetted by the nobles, the common people were persist- 
ent in their attacks on the " possessioned church," as it 
L— P 


was designated. The spirit that burst forth with so 
much violence at the Reformation was steadily gathering 
force. Sentiments premonitory of what was coming were 
every where current. The remark that " there was too 
much singing in the churches and too little edification" 
foreshadowed the approach of the Puritan. The alien- 
ated, perhaps it might be said demoralized condition of 
the better laity, was shown by the literature circulating 
among them. Books written in English, such as " the 
Lantern of Light," were so filled with denunciatio.ns 
against ecclesiastical immorality and extravagance that 
it became customary to require suspected persons to clear 
themselves by oath of the possession of them. To have 
such " English books," to hear them read, to sell or bor- 
row them, was regarded as a certain indication of heresy. 
But, though the Reformers, in the attack they made on 
the " possessioned church," thus occupied themselves with 
doctrinal matters, it was not so with the government un- 
til a much later period. With a wise policy, the kings 
struck at the wealth of the Church, recognizing in that 
the source of her power. They cared nothing about her 
theological dogmas, and acted upon the principle that if 
her riches could be seized her doctrines were of no mo- 
ment. In the early period of their action, their conduct 
seemed so justifiable that many ecclesiastics were recon- 
ciled to their policy. Thus the revenues of the first relig- 
ious houses dissolved were devoted to the spread of 
knowledge among the people by being settled on various 
colleges in Oxford and Cambridge. The avowed object 
was promotion of learning. Setting aside the case of the 
Templars, in which there was a special political motive, 
these suppressions may be considered as having com- 
menced during WickliftVs life. In the course of time, 
other and less justifiable intentions appeared, as indeed 
might be expected; and when these suppressions were 


completed by Henry VIIL, the revenues acquired passed 
to a large extent into the treasury of the king. 

If from the religious we turn to the political aspect of 
the nation, proofs of gradual amelioration are seen. In 
the reigns of Stephen and John the baronial castles were 
dens of robbers. The Saxon chronicle records how men 
and women were caught and dragged into those strong- 
holds, hung up by their thumbs or feet, fire applied to 
them, knotted strings twisted round their heads, and 
many other torments inflicted to extort ransom. But in 
the time of Richard III., so great had been 

Gradual improve- . -i • -t t * • • t i 

ment in their mor- the improvement, and so discriminating; had 

al condition. ... . 

moral criticism become, that the crimes he 
perpetrated could no longer be endured. His memory 
was handed down to us by his own contemporaries as in- 
famous. Famines, such as those of 1230 and 1258, which 
reduced the laboring classes to dire extremity, and com- 
pelled persons of higher rank to feed upon offal, became 
less and less frequent. It is said that fifteen thousand 
persons died of hunger in London alone during the fam- 
ine of 1258. A more settled condition enabled the peas- 
ant to pursue his labors, and enjoy their product in 

So long as Norman England was passing through her 
"Age of Faith," under the guidance of Catholic forms, her 
training was altogether of a moral, not of an intellectual 
kind. Freedom of thought was sternly repressed. The 
intention was to prepare men for life in another world, 
not to render them prosperous and happy in this. But 
as, in this predestined development, the nation grew 
through its period of youth, and approached that of ma- 
. turitv — its "Age of Reason " new sentiments, 

Increasing disposi- J o 1 > 

^toarJbetle^his answering to those we remark in personal 
personal condition. ^ began to be displayed. A desire of 


every individual to better his own condition became the 
characteristic feature of society. 

While slavery existed in England the gratification of 
such hopes was of course impossible ; but the 

Gradual enfeeble- -. 7. p p , . 

mentoftnearistoc- destruction oi manv oi the great proprietors 

racy. ^ ° •*• ± 

. in the Wars of the Roses, and other civil 

commotions, the unsettlement of the Church possessions, 
by degrees gave freedom of action to the lower class. As 
skillful advantage had been taken of the Church rela- 
tions with Italy to break down ecclesiastical power, so 
Henry VII., with equal wisdom, broke down the aristoc- 
racy. As with the Church, so with them ; their influence 
lay altogether in the possession of land. By permitting 
them to alienate their estates, and giving a secure title to 
every purchaser, he at once gratified their wishes and de- 
stroyed their power. A vast number of small proprie- 
tors soon appeared, too insignificant to cause the govern- 
ment any farther alarm. 

Things were in this condition when Columbus made 

The voyage of co- n ^ s successful voyage. The immediate effect 

of the discovery of America was that the 

commercial front of Europe was changed. The rich cities 

of Italy were ruined. 

It is hardly possible for us now to appreciate the won- 
derful social influence of that event: If dur- 

Its extraordinary . . , ^ n -1 , • , i -i -1 • 

effect on the En- mg the Crusades multitudes rushed into 

glish. <-i 

Palestine to secure, as the reward of their 
piety and privation in this life, happiness in the next, so 
now there was a delirium for obtaining an instant, a pres- 
ent individual prosperity. 

In England successful commerce led at once to a new 
distribution of population. Individualism was rapidly 
developed. Self-interest displaced loyalty. Wealth, gain- 
ed by mercantile ventures, enabled the successful trader 
to buy lands of the embarrassed noble. A class of men, 

Chap. XII.] 



Eapid develop- 
ment of trade and 
commerce among 

steadily increasing in political power from that day to 
this, gradually emerged, trained by their pursuits to large 
and liberal conceptions. 

A superficial glance at the commercial condition of the 

country shows the progress it was making. 

The Jews, who first appeared in England in 

the train of William the Conqueror, were for 
a long time the chief foreign traders. In this they fol- 
lowed the instincts of their race, abhorring agriculture 
and manual labor ; but, in the reign of Henry III., com- 
merce had been established with all the ports of Europe 
from Norway to Italy. Richard III. licensed ships to go 
to Iceland. Columbus says that he himself sailed a hund- 
red leagues beyond that island, and that the English car- 
ried on a considerable trade with it. That great discov- 
erer would have found a patron in Henry VII. if he had 
not succeeded in inducing Isabella to promote his views. 
As it was, under the auspices of that king, Sebastian 
Cabot, the son of a Venetian, who had settled in Bristol, 

discovered the continent of America — the 

Increasing popu- . . • • j-i j '/» -vr n -i 

larity of maritime name Amencus is that oi a JNorman family 

adventures. . * 

in the twelfth century, though subsequently 
appearing in Italy. Cabot, perhaps accompanied by his 
father, explored the coast from the point they first made 
— Prima Vista — or, as it is now called, Newfoundland, 
as far as Florida. Subsequently he made a voyage to 
Russia, doing much to extend northeastern commerce. 
It was his attempt, under the auspices of Henry, to find 
a northwest passage to India that led him to the first of 
these discoveries. The expectation of Columbus, founded 
upon the opinion of Toscanelli, that the distance from Lis- 
bon westward to India would prove to be shorter than 
the distance from Lisbon to Guinea, not having been veri- 
fied, these attempts to make the voyage in a higher lati- 
tude were very much favored by persons who clearly un- 


derstood the globular form of the earth. Meantime the 
connections of trade were rapidly multiplying, as is illus- 
trated by the fact that Parliament had enacted a capita- 
tion-tax of twenty or forty shillings on every Italian bro- 
ker or factor settled in England. These adventurers were 
following commerce to its new abode. 

For many previous years the enterprise of the na- 
tion had found gratification in invasions of 
plant invasions of France. The proclamation of one of these 

France. # x 

destructive raids had been a certain source 
of popularity. When money could not be extorted for 
any other object, it had been freely given for that. But 
now things had changed. The useless nature of these 
military undertakings was universally recognized. Cres- 
sy, Poictiers, Agincourt, had lost their charm. A restless 
adventurer could see more profit in a voyage beyond seas 
than in bloody battles in France. 

He discovered that it was better for him to become 
rich by his own personal enterprise, and himself enjoy 
the fruits of his own exertions, than to shed his blood 
and waste his life in giving glory to his commander or 
his sovereign. It was impossible but that loyalty should 
decline, and self-interest take its place. And Henry VII. 
was not unwilling to wean his people from their love of 
war, and turn them to commercial pursuits. That he 
might publicly show his honor for trade, he became a 
member of the Merchant Tailors' Company. 

Influence of Henry tt 1 j. ',r , • , - r\ , 

vii. in promoting Me lent money without interest or gam, that 

individualism. . » , , •»-•-• -, \ . 

" merchandise, which is of all crafts the chief 
art, might be more plentifuller used, haunted, and em- 
ployed in his realm." More laws respecting trade were 
made in his reign than on any other subject ; and though 
many of them were founded on principles repudiated by 
modern legislation, their intention and spirit are worthy 
of remark. They were preliminary experiments in polit- 

Chap. XII.] 



ical economy. Thus he largely and energetically protect- 
ed domestic manufactures, nurtured his own mercantile 
marine, enforced the principle that no for- 

Trade and manu- . t -i i i -i i i i i ,i 

facturmg legisia- eign goods should be brought to the coun- 

tion of that king. © O . _ ° _ 

try except m English ships, patronized the 
fisheries, discountenanced usury, provided against the 
cheating of creditors, regulated the introduction of silk, 
prohibited the carrying of bullion out of the realm, con- 
structed standard measures and weights, and had authen- 
ticated copies sent to the large towns, stamped a new 
coinage, disallowed ordinances, such as that of the corpo- 
ration of London, which forbade its freemen to travel 
with goods for sale, in order that people might be com- 
pelled to come to the city to buy. He put a stop to tran- 
sit tolls extorted by towns through which goods were 
obliged to pass. His attention was specially directed to 
the manufacture of wool, at that time the most important 
industrial pursuit of the country. Woolen goods consti- 
tuted 4-fths of the entire English exports. He attempted 
to confine the manufacture to English workmen : no for- 
eigner was permitted to carry the raw material out of the 
country. This manufacture owed its prosperity to his 
great predecessor, Edward III., who brought over from 
Flanders artisans, such as weavers, fullers, etc. It had 
already attained so much prosperity as to afford a source 
of public revenue by taxation. 

The imperfection of Henry's legislation may be excused 
when we compare it with that of preceding kings. With 
a view of controlling the bullion in the realm, enactments 
had been passed compelling foreigners to pay for English 
goods in money. Englishmen were prohibited selling 
merchandise to such, except for ready money or goods de- 
livered on the instant. As the mischievous operation of 
such a law was recognized, some relaxation was afforded, 
and goods were permitted to be sold on six months' cred- 


it. Laws were passed prohibiting foreign merchants 
from selling in England to any other foreigner. The 
mercantile ideas of Henry VII. are certainly better than 

But besides leading the way, though with many mis 
takes, in the industrial development of his country, Hen 
ry VII. gave his people moral lessons of the deepest im 
port. He taught them the sacredness of human life. Ex 
ecutions and savage mutilations, such as had been fre 
quent in former bloodthirsty times, were replaced by im 
positions of fines. He vindicated the supremacy of law, 
making the poor secure from molestation by the 4 cn - 
He also concerned himself with sanitary provisions in a 
manner that may even now be an example in many 
American cities. In order that his people might have 
pure air, " he forbade butchers to kill animals in walled 
towns." " What this king desired was the prosperity and 
restfulness of his land." 

While this development of industrial pursuits was 
graduallv going on, an important result, the 

Industry is devel- ° , /» i • i . i , i 

oped, and the price value ot which can not be exaggerated, was 

of labor rises. . . -i • • 

occurring. I he price of labor was rising. 
There were competitions between agriculturists and man- 
ufacturers. This is manifested by the act forbidding any 
one binding his son or daughter to an apprenticeship un- 
less he was possessed of twenty shillings. The aim was 
to secure the laboring class for the agricultural interest. 
There was a demand for more men — a demand to which 
England in the old ecclesiastical times had been a stran- 
ger; and now the population accordingly began to in- 

If, after 350 years, Henry VII. could come forth from 
the tomb in his beautiful chapel in Westminister Abbey, 
and revisit the nation whose " restfulness" he so sedulous- 

Chap. XII.] 



change since the 
epoch of Henry 

ly desired, how many things that he thought essential 
and enduring he would miss ! 

In the streets of his capital, now containing more peo- 
_ . , pie than in the old days he could have count- 

Wonderful social * , , J 

ed in his whole realm, not a cowled monk, 
not a friar, white, black, or gray, is to be 
seen. In the dissolving view of national life, the dissent- 
ing preacher has emerged in their place. In the church- 
es he would hear no invocations to "Mary;" he would 
find no one at the shrines of the saints. For the long 
train of pilgrims wending their way to those gainful of- 
fices, he would find patients, with their fee in hand, crowd- 
ing the anterooms of the legitimate physician, or repairing 
to the snare of the empiric. Quackery, like a king in the 
East, lives forever. For the saints themselves, if he in- 
quired of any busy passer-by, he might be innocently and 
courteously advised to look into the City Directory. On 
conspicuous heights or in shady retreats, where once they 
had been nestled, he would look for monasteries in vain — 
there are cotton-mills now in their stead. Baronial fami- 
lies, whose prosperity he wisely sapped, he would learn 
had long ago become extinct. " His light gray eyes" 
would fall upon no peasant with his legs wrapped in 
wisps of straw, no citizen clad in leather. With wonder- 
ing surprise he might contemplate a sovereign nearly 
without a veto, and a Church without a Pope. 

But there are novelties that he would encounter, things 
the very names of which he had never heard. He would 
see the descendants of his lieges eating potatoes, drinking 
tea, sweetening coffee with sugar, getting tipsy on gin or 
other distilled liquors ; he would have to be told what 
distilling means, and smoking tobacco. Not a wood-fire 
would he find in any house ; the people warm themselves 
over that dirty black stone which JEneas Sylvius says 
was dug up about the parts of Northumberland. The 


railway companies would run him from London to Edin- 
burgh " through by daylight," or carry him over wonder- 
ful viaducts and bridges made of iron tubes, or through 
tunnels in the hills. He could float in balloons above 
the clouds of the air, or sink in bells to the bottom of the 
sea. " His wonderful beauty and fair complexion ; his 
countenance merry and smiling, especially in his commu- 
nications ; his thin hair ; his body lean, but albeit mighty 
and strong therewith; his personage and stature some- 
what higher than the meane sort of men be," could all 
instantaneously and spontaneously depict themselves for 
his use upon a photographic visiting-card. If he went 
to Portsmouth he might see what had been the issue of 
the " Great Harry" he built, the first vessel of the nation- 
al navy. In all directions he would find steam-ships and 
steam-boats moving about without waiting for wind or 
tide. He could telegraph instantaneously his messages 
to his " dread brother" of France, and see the end of a 
cable going under the Atlantic to that Newfoundland 
which he paid Sebastian Cabot to discover. The laws he 
so carefully devised to protect his spinners and weavers 
are displaced by free trade — those artisans themselves 
supplanted by cunningly-contrived iron machines. The 
realm that he left, as Grafton relates, abundantly stored 
with gold and silver bullion and plate, he would find 
four thousand millions of dollars in debt, and yet more 
prosperous than even in his days. 

He would find individualism and self-interest every 
where paramount, and money the object of 

It is due to the in- -, . n -■"*• . . n -, . . 

fluence of individ- lite. He must pay sixpence lor admission 
to the bronze doors of his own chapel on his 
way back again to his tomb. 

The active period of English history — its Age of Rea- 
son — thus commenced under the Tudor dynasty. A 

Chap. XII.] 



change in national character occurred. Incentives, ap- 
pealing to morals alone, lost their force ; intellectual edu- 
cation began, and to every man, no matter what his sta- 
tion might be, the road to fortune was open. Individu- 
alism was fairly established. 

As might be expected, considering their insular posi- 
TheEn lish ursue ^ on an( ^ reSL ^J adaptation to a seafaring 
£n5 s a ofmIritLe li fe , the English joined with avidity in those 
enterprises. maritime enterprises in which all Western 

Europe had engaged. Spain and Portugal, by their brill- 
iant successes, had set an intoxicating example. Riches 
transcending all that had been dreamed of by fanatical 
alchemists had been acquired in Mexico and Peru ; the 
wealth of India was within the reach of those adventur- 
ous enough to follow De Gama's track round the Cape 
of Good Hope. To no insignificant extent was this mar- 
itime spirit fostered by what was, indeed, its legitimate 
result, the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Military 
excursions to France were exchanged for more lucrative 
adventures on a new and wider theatre at sea — adven- 
tures sometimes of an honorable, sometimes of a ques- 
tionable kind. Not unfrequently discovery was united 
to buccaneering. 

India was the great temptation, the alluring bait. 
Their voyages to Tnus Willoughby and Chancellor tried to 
the Polar seas. f orce their way to that country by a north- 
east passage. The former was found by subsequent 
explorers a stark corpse in the cabin of his ship. He 
had attempted to winter in the ice. The company of 
merchant-adventurers reached Nova Zembla, 
ScumnSvfgation and also endeavored to re-open the old route 

of the earth, and -, aj i j i /"*■'' ■ o -r* 

colonize North bv Astracan and the Caspian bea. iro- 
bisher vainly tried a northwest passage. 
Drake added much to the popularity of these under- 
takings by repeating the circumnavigation of the earth. 


Expeditions of adventure soon, however, gave place to 
others of a more permanent and valuable kind — expedi- 
tions for colonization. Of those to America I have al- 
ready spoken in preceding chapters. The energy with 
which these operations were conducted is shown by the 
circumstance that during the seventeenth century all the 
thirteen original American states, except Georgia, were 
colonized. In 1689 their aggregate population was prob- 
ably 200,000. 

There is perhaps no better or more interesting proof 
how deeply a love of individual adventure had laid hold 
of the English mind than the popularity of De Foe's ro- 
mance, " Robinson Crusoe," published early in the eight- 
eenth century. The editions of it are without number. 
It would be difficult to find any one in England or Amer- 
ica who does not know all about the shipwreck, the des- 
olate island, the man Friday, the goats, the footprint in the 
sand. The resolute individualism, conspicuously shining 
forth in the hero of the story, commended it at once to 
the popular heart. 

Scarcely, therefore, had the active life of England corn- 
That colonization menced, when through colonization a tenden- 
pi p S hiSotwo En " cy was manifested for the separation of her 
population into two branches. Notwith- 
standing the great waste of life always attending a set- 
tlement of new countries, the American branch soon be- 
gan to exhibit unmistakable proofs of rapid development. 
It expanded by its own natural growth, for the resist- 
ances to life were soon reduced to a minimum: it was, 
moreover, continually added to by unceasing emigration 
from home. 

The seventeenth century is, therefore, full of interest to 
the readers of this book, since it is the epoch 

The insular and ,,-,... p j i -to i • 1 i • • j 

continental En- ot division oi the .hnglish-speaking race into 

glish. . . . 

two portions, destined by geographical cir- 


cumstances to be, the one insular, the other continental. 
Before that time they had a common, after it a separate 
history. Their existing relation is not that of parent and 
offspring, but that of collateral branches from a common 

In their later history climate -disturbance has been 
more powerfully felt by the continental than 

Subsequent effect -. , i • t /• x x> i -i»-it 

ofciimate-innu- by the insular portion, in .Lngland, indeed, 

ence on each. •■• . ... 

until comparatively recent times, interior lo- 
comotion was so much restricted that the zones of popu- 
lation may be said to have come into a closer correspond- 
ence with the physical circumstances under which the 
people were living, the main disturbance arising from ar- 
tificial climate- variations. In America the population has 
been far more energetically disturbed. It encountered 
in its new seats a climate differing not only from that of 
its original country, but also differing greatly in different 
localities. The most northerly and southerly portions of 
Great Britain differ by less than nine geographical de- 
grees ; the Atlantic coast-line of the United States ranges 
through twenty-two. The physiological change which 
from this cause must necessarily be accomplished was \erj 
great, and, to this day, time enough for its completion has 
not elapsed. 

The insular portion of the English-speaking race may 
character of the in- therefore be contemplated as having attain- 

ir portion. e( j ^ o com p ara tive physiological stability, 
though in this respect as being still behind the popula- 
tion of France (page 98). Its modes of thinking have 
almost come into unison with its climate. Hence it has 
definite views and settled intentions. It holds its ideas 
in government, philosophy, religion, or whatever else, 
without any misgivings, necessarily regarding them as 
intrinsically correct : the foreigner, in his discrepancies, is 
of course necessarily and intrinsically wrong. The loco- 



[Sect. II. 

motive engine will hardly shake this invariability and ob- 
stinacy, since it can not do more than mix together men 
who have suffered but little modification from their mean, 
their common type. The annual isothermal s under which 
they live vary but a few Fahrenheit degrees. There 
are no imposing differences of topographical elevation, 
no grand mountain ranges. The homogeneousness into 
which that people has thus been brought imparts to it 
many characteristic qualities. It is self-poised, self-con- 
fident, self-sufficient, self-willed. 

Diverging thus from one historical point, the insular 
and continental branches will perpetually exhibit traces 
of their common origin. In spite of whatever vicissi- 
tudes they may have respectively encountered, and modi- 
fications they may have respectively undergone, there will 
be marks of family likeness ; their relationship will al- 
ways be indicated by their common speech ; and hence I 
repeat the remark previously made, that a philosophical 
study of the course of either will cast light on that of 
the other. American history can not be understood — 
no true interpretation of the events of American life can 
be given except by a profound study of English history 
and English life. 

We may therefore recall with delight the wonderful 

its contributions to contributions the English have made to hu- 
dviiization. man knowledge and human comfort. In 

whatever direction we look, we see how much they have 
done — how many of the great inventions that have ex- 
tended the boundaries of science are theirs. They gave 
us both telescopes, the reflecting and achromatic ; they 
gave us the steam-engine, and its noble application, the 
locomotive. They have done more than all others in the 
manufacture of iron, more in the perfection of textile fab- 
rics. The greatest of European medical discoveries, vac- 
cination, is theirs — -anaesthesia belongs to America. In 


the highest region to which human intellect has attained 
they stand eminent — they first explained the true mech- 
anism of the universe. In the congregation of nations 
they have grandly discharged their duty — they have sig- 
nally contributed to the civilization of man. 

Yet, as if it were a solemn admonition to us, was there 
its oiiticai mis- ever sucn a s P ec tacle offered of wisdom in 
takes. interior life and folly in external conduct? 

In the last hundred years this people has occupied itself 
with three great foreign transactions, not perceiving, until 
its movements were over, how serious were its mistakes. 
It undertook a war against colonial independence, per- 
sisted in it for many years, and incurred in so doing a 
debt of five hundred millions of dollars — no one in En- 
gland now defends that folly. Its acquisition of an In- 
dian empire was commenced under circumstances that 
impartial history can never justify, and is perpetuated by 
actions that humanity can never defend. Its wars of 
the French Kevolution and Empire oppress its resources 
and industry with a burden of three thousand millions 
of dollars, and yet they brought no better fruit than a 
pilgrimage of its sovereign to the tomb of Napoleon, and 
an alliance with his representative. Not without mourn- 
ful interest does the American see the same infatuation 
surviving uncorrected in more recent events — the coun- 
try of Wilberforce forgetting its noblest traditions, and 
willfully alienating the friendship of a great and power- 
ful kindred people. 

Comparing the social progress of the Middle Ages with 
that of the nineteenth century, we can not fail to see that 
the prime mover has changed. Ecclesiasticism and loyal- 
ty carried our ancestors forward as far as they could, but 
the motion was very slow, the advance comparatively 
insignificant. It is only yesterday that physical science 
has been accepted as a guide, but we witness what it 


has already done. Ecclesiasticism tended to the controll- 
ing and governing of men, science sets them free. It fa- 
vors the principle of individualism, inciting every one to 
seek his own advancement, and be the architect of his 
own fortune. In England, as indeed in all Europe, as 
soon as the artificial restraints of the old system were cast 
aside, and each person became an unshackled thinker and 
worker, the aggregate result, the national progress, was 
truly wonderful. Not less wonderful has 

Effect of individu- -• ,-i -i . .-t k ' • , • , 

aiism on the con- been the result on the American continent. 

tinental portion. . _ . . _ 

Individualism, emerging, as we have related, 

gradually in the Middle Ages, receiving an impetus from 

the acts of Columbus and his successors, asserting its 

,. . rights in the Reformation and in the English 

Individualism is © © 

the r frSate? revolutions, allying itself to maritime enter- 
of America. p r i se? commercial undertakings, industrial 
art, has made the free states of the Union what they are. 
In the actual republics of Greece as in the fancied re- 
public of Plato, man was considered only 

Effect of state-indi- -, , n . -, . . mi . . 

viduaiism in the as an element ot the state, ine state w r as 

Roman system. 

every thing, man nothing, ine Roman sys- 
tem was greatly superior to that. Home commenced her 
career by annexing cities, and reached her plenitude of 
power by the incorporation of provinces and kingdoms. 
But she left them, as far as might be, their religion, their lo- 
cal laws, their customs, interfering in no respect with their 
daily life save in those points which were incompatible 
with her imperial policy. It was this that gave to her her 
commanding position and constituted her true strength. 

Rome regarded the province or kingdom she incorpo- 
rated ; America, extending that policy, regards the indi- 
vidual man. He is not an invisible element, but a recog- 
nized constituent of the state. 

The political results secured by Rome from the princi- 
ple she thus adopted were very splendid; the material 
prosperity attained in the New World by the extension 


Effect of personal of that principle, by giving citizenship to 
S?AmeriSJ sys- every one, is already surprising. Individual- 
tem * ism has rapidly secured this continent to the 

service of civilized man ; it will enable the republic of 
the West to play that part on the grander theatre of the 
globe which the old republic played in the narrow con- 
fines of the Mediterranean. 

So far as personal freedom of action is concerned, the 
abandonment of apprenticeship and of the 

Abolition of all re- •■•,,• n »-i t i it i 

stramt on personal institution oi guilds has had a most power- 

pursuits. ° •*■ 

ful effect. What would have been the prog- 
ress of America- had there been such a statute as that of 
Elizabeth, known as the statute of apprenticeship, in force? 
It prohibited any one from exercising any trade, craft, or 
mystery without a six years' apprenticeship. Even in 
England it was found necessary by degrees to interpret 
it liberally, and hence its operation was restricted to mar- 
ket towns, and to those trades or avocations that were in 
existence at the time of the passage of the act. A total 
absence of all such restrictions, persons being at liberty to 
practice any business they please without a previous 
waste of several years, and without membership in any 
guild or fraternity, adds in a most extraordinary manner 
to the industrial activity of the country. The commu- 
nity reaps the benefit of the competition that necessarily 

Unquestionably the absolute freedom of action con- 
ceded to the individual is not without grave 

Expansive political -. . -, . t, iiixlixi 

power of individu- disadvantages. It mav be doubted whether 

alism. ° 

a community organized on such a basis, more 
particularly in case this freedom, is granted to women, 
can ever have the stability, or ever be as moral as one in 
which the family is the essential political element. But 
that such a community will have a prodigious expansive 
power is undeniable. 
I— Q 





The tendency to sectional division of the North and South was manifested by their 
intellectual pursuits during the last century. Both felt the necessity of promo- 
ting literary culture, but in the former it advanced in the Theological and Met- 
aphysical directions ; in the latter, a preference was given to Medicine and Law. 
Political effects of the cultivation of Theology in the North and of Law in the 

We Lave next to investigate the tendency imparted 
to the American people by climate and the other physi- 
cal conditions to which they were exposed. These soon 
generated social and political conditions, and occasioned 
an ever-increasing separation. 

The climate of the South, through the agricultural 

products it permitted, favored plantation life 

doSai e partition C in and the institution of slavery, and hence it 

America during the , . n . , -. , 

eighteenth cen- promoted a sentiment of independence m the 

tury. x x g 

person and of state-rights in the community ; 
that of the North intensified in the person a disposition 
to individualism, and in the community to unionism. 
The initial differences existing between the original col- 
onists were by these circumstances increased, 

Condition of the ., , . , . ,, , 

colonial popuia- the segmentation being incessantly more and 
more marked, geographical parties, a North 

Chap.XIIL] communication OF INTELLIGENCE. 243 

and a South, coming plainly into view, each having its 
own ideas, its own wishes, its own intentions, and those 
of the one very often antagonistic to those of the other. 

I shall therefore devote this section to a history of the 
early progress of that antagonism as manifested by un- 
ionism and by slavery, and, as a needful preparation, shall 
relate in this chapter the process of the intellectual devel- 
opment of the people previously to the commencement 
of this century. 

At the beginning of the last century the population 
was a mere fringe on the Atlantic coast, its interior ex- 
pansion being hardly more than fifty or a hundred miles. 
A waste of waters was on its front, an unknown wilder- 
ness of land behind. The means of intercommunication 
were tardy, the roads execrable. In 1700 there was not 
a single newspaper printed on the continent; in 1800 
there were nearly 200. The Boston News-letter, the pio- 
neer, was issued in 1704. At first these journals confined 
themselves to the reporting of facts ; it was not until the 
publication of ^ me °^ Franklin that they began to attempt 
manXSe a of d *° manufacture public opinion ; that func- 
opuuon. Hon, particularly in the Eastern States, had 

been hitherto discharged by the pulpit. For this reason, 
the minister looked upon the editor not without suspi- 
cion, or even dislike. It was through jealousies of this 
kind that the Boston paper with which Franklin was con- 
nected was suppressed. In classical antiquity the manu- 
facture of public opinion was accomplished with diffi- 
culty ; in imperial Rome it was imperfectly done through 
the agency of the legions. Pontifical Rome succeeded 
much better through her ecclesiastical organizations, es- 
pecially through the mendicant orders. In modern times 
it is mainly conducted by the newspaper and the mail. 
After the Revolutionary War, the frequency of elections 
and place-hunting debauched the American press. 


The practice of selling the privilege of a portion of the 
paper to individuals for their personal use in advertising 
was quickly adopted in America. It was a great ad- 
vance on the bellman and public crier. 

In 1700 there were but two public libraries; one was 
in Massachusetts, the other in South Caro- 

Public libraries in,. A , i *» , i . t 

the North and lma. At the end ot the century there were 

South. •/ 

many hundreds. Booksellers had increased 
a hundred fold, and printers in about the same proportion. 
At the first of those periods there were but three or four 
in the whole country. The two early colonial colleges — 
Harvard in Massachusetts, and William and Mary in Vir- 
ginia, had at length almost thirty competitors. 

In Chapter VIII. I have pointed out the original dif- 
increaseofthecoi- ferences- of the Northern and Southern col- 
onists, observing that the former were incited 
by religious ideas, the latter by material interests. These 
distinctions are perpetuated in their respective intellectu- 
al histories. The North led the way in literary pursuits, 
founding the first college and establishing the first press ; 
and, as might be expected, its inclination at that time 
was chiefly to theology and classical learning. Very ear- 
ly in the history of Massachusetts the colonists had taken 
measures for public education. In 1641 they had enact- 
ed that, "if any do not teach their children 

Compulsory educa- , . i i • 

tion m Massachu- and apprentices so much learning as may 
enable them to read perfectly the English 
language, they shall forfeit twenty shillings ; and the se- 
lectmen of every town are required to know the state of 
the families." Soon afterward they enacted that, " when 
any town increased to the number of one hundred fam- 
ilies, they should set up a grammar-school, the master 
thereof being able to instruct youth so far as they may 
be fitted for the University." As the course of polit- 
ical events in England, in the restoration of a national 



Church, had beeu in opposition to the Puritan ideas of 
the North, the hopes of the settlers were turned to an in- 
dependent literature of their own; hence their activi- 
ty in establishing schools, academies, colleges, and their 
strenuous patronage of home education. 

But Virginia, less intensely religious, and caring more for 
Difference in the material prosperity, followed a different pol- 
oftn^Nortrand 118 icy. She had no college until the eighteenth 
century was well advanced; for, though an 
Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. James Blair, had obtained 
a charter for one in 1693 from William and Mary, it was 
not until 1729 that he could carry it into operation. For 
long it led a lingering existence, rarely having more than 
twenty students at a time. The desire of the North was 
the prosperity of its churches ; thus Yale College, which 
was established in 1701, was for the avowed purpose of 
supplying learned and able ministers. Virginia, on the 
contrary, was indifferent to ecclesiastical prosperity. She 
was not animated by the wishes of the North ; her so- 
ciety was far from having the democratical aspect of that 
of Massachusetts. She had a law of primogeniture, and 
therefore rich planters and poor laborers — a divided com- 
munity that was unable to unite in undertakings con- 
ducive to the general good. Her export business in to- 
bacco brought her into contact with foreign connections ; 
she saw no evil, nor, indeed, any inconvenience in intrust- 
ing her young men to that foreign influence from which 
influence of Epis- Calvinistic Massachusetts would have recoil- 
virgmia. e( j ^^ norror# Virginia was Episcopalian, 

and as she received her clergy from England, to England 
she was willing to intrust the education of her youth. 
While the New Englander was taught at home, the Vir- 
ginian went to Europe. For this reason, the educated 
men of the North had more nerve, those of the South 
more polish. 


President John Quincy Adams, in his Life of Mr. Mad- 
ison, makes these remarks : " The colony of Virginia had 
been settled under the auspices of the Episcopal Church 
of England. It was there the Established Church, and all 
other religious denominations there, as in England, were 
stigmatized with the name of Dissenters. For the support 
of this Church, the colonial laws, prior to the Revolution, 
had subjected to taxation all the inhabitants of the colony, 
and it had been endowed with grants of property by the 
crown. The effect of this had naturally been to render 
the Church establishment unpopular, and the clergy of 
that establishment generally unfriendly to the Revolu- 
tion. After the close of the war in 1784, Mr. Jefferson 
introduced into the Legislature a bill for the establish- 
ment of religious freedom. The principle of the bill was 
the abolition of all taxation for the support of religion 
or of its ministers, and to place the freedom of all relig- 
ious opinions wholly beyond the control of the Legisla- 
ture." After some delay and resistance the bill was 
passed. In Massachusetts, authoritative provision by law 
for the support of teachers of the Christian religion was 
prescribed by the Bill of Rights; but an amendment 
subsequently adopted has sanctioned the opinions of 
Jefferson, and the substance of the Virginia statute for 
the establishment of religious freedom now forms a part 
of the Constitution of Massachusetts. Mr. Adams far- 
ther remarks : " That the freedom and communication 
of thought is paramount to all legislative authority is a 
sentiment becoming from day to day more prevalent 
throughout the civilized world, and which, it is fervently 
to be hoped, will hereafter remain inviolate by the leg- 
islative authorities not only of the Union, but of all its 
confederated states." 

As might be expected, considering the motives that 
had led to their original settlement — religious ideas in the 


Theology the fav 

( North, and material advantages in the Sonth 
orit e e°p#r y S u\t e of the — while theology was the favorite pursuit of 

North, Medicine -, -, T -, n -, . . 

and Law of the educated men m the former, medicine and 

South. t ' 

law were preferred m the latter. It was 
this that gave to Virginia so great a control during the 
revolutionary times : her representatives were men of the 
world — men of affairs. Their ideas were not cramped as 
were those of the New Englander. It was this that 
aided her in giving so many of its early presidents to the 
Union. A preference for the study of medicine and law 
continues in the South to our day. 

In South Carolina, the prominent clergymen, physicians, 

various scientific and lawyers were often of foreign birth. 

wru&ninThe^ 8 They chiefly settled in Charleston. As in 
Virginia, the young men, for the most part, 
went to Europe for their education. William Bull, a 
native South Carolinian, it is said, was the first American 
who obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine ; he was 
a pupil of Boerhaave, and graduated in the University of 
Leyden in 1734, his inaugural thesis being " de Colica 
Pictonum." Lining (1753) gave the first American de- 
scription of yellow fever, and carried an electrical appara- 
tus to Charleston; Chalmers wrote on the weather and 
the diseases of South Carolina. Catesby published the 
Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas : 
he was occupied from 1712 to 1748 in the preparation of 
his work. In Virginia, Tennant (1740) introduced snake- 
root (Polygala senega) into the materia medica. Clay- 
ton, a native of that colony, published his Flora Virgin- 
ica; and Mitchell, who resided on the Rappahannock, 
wrote so well on the effects of climate upon the human 
complexion that his essay was published in the Transac- 
tions of the Royal Society ; he was the author, also, of 
papers on the preparation and uses of potash and its com- 
pounds, and on the force of electrical cohesion. Histo- 


ries of Virginia were published by Stith and by Bever- 
ley. A printer settled in it in 1726, the first work he 
published being a volume of the laws (1733). In 1725 
South Carolina received her first printer, and published 
her first newspaper in 1730. It is to her 

Appreciation of lit- -• i -i i i • i i i 1 1 

erature in: charies- nonor that she appreciated very early the 
value of learning. In the free-school estab- 
lished in Charleston, 1712, the principal received a salary 
of £400 sterling per annum ; the usher, .£200. These 
salaries, liberal for those times, were paid from the public 

The middle colonies, New York, New Jersey, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Maryland, intervening geograph- 

Intellectual condi- •tit, . i • i -i • • • t • r»,T 

tion of the middle ically between the idealistic colonies ot the 
North and the materialistic colonies of the 
South, participated in the mode of intellectual progress 
of both. The germ of Columbia College, first known as 
King's College, was planted in New York in 1754; that 
of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, in 
1755 ; but Princeton preceded them, it having been in- 
stituted at Elizabethtown in 1746. Jonathan Edwards 
may be taken as a type of the theological and meta- 
physical writers between 1720 and 1748. The culti- 
vators of natural science, however, rapidly multiplied ; 
among them may be mentioned Cadwallader Colden, a 
native of Scotland, but subsequently Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor of New York ; he wrote on Botany, and composed 
a History of the Five Indian Nations. Bartram, of Penn- 
sylvania, of whom Linnaeus said that he was the greatest 
natural botanist in the world, traveled from Canada to 
Florida in the prosecution of his studies. 

The establishment of a medical college in Philadelphia 
The university of (1^64), which subsequently was known as 
Pennsylvania. ^ University of Pennsylvania, was an im- 
portant event in the history of American science. Dr. 


Shippen gave the lectures on Anatomy ; Dr. Morgan on 
the Institutes of Medicine; Dr. Kuhn on Botany and Ma- 
teria Medica ; Dr. Benjamin Rush on Chemistry. These 
were the first medical lectures ever given in America. 
The institution thus commenced continues to occupy an 
increasing sphere of usefulness and honor to this day. 
During the first third of the eighteenth century the 
course of science in Europe was chiefly di- 

The scientific pur- ■»- * / t 

fouowed^SXiS rected to astronomical, optical, mechanical, 
lca - and mathematical pursuits ; the great influ- 

ence and brilliant successes of Newton gave that bias. In 
like manner, the example of Linnaeus led to the cultiva- 
tion of Natural History in the middle third, while the 
last third was devoted to Chemistry and industrial in- 
ventions. These variations in the European tone of 
thought are perceptible also in America. There was, 
too, an increasing appreciation of the singular value of 
physical pursuits, and improvements were continually 
occurring in the domestic habits of the people. The 
fashions and customs of Europe became the fashions 
and customs of America. At the beginning of that cen- 

Changes in domes- J™7 the P° tat ° ^ aS ^OWn Only aS a CUnOS- 
tic economy, j^y. a £ ^ e en( j^yj had become an important 

article of food. Tea and coffee had been introduced from 
Asia. Sugar had come into universal use ; previously to 
that time honey had been resorted to in its stead, and 
hence the value of the honey-producing countries. Sir 
John Pringle states that between 1688 and 1750 the 
amount of garden vegetables consumed in and near Lon- 
don had increased six fold. These dietary changes were 
adopted in America with no little advantage to the pub- 
lic health, and consequent increase of population. Of 
not less importance was the diminished cost of clothing. 
Personal cleanliness became an imperative social require- 
ment. Strong perfumes, which even the higher classes 


had been in the habit of employing to conceal personal 
offensiveness, became of less service ; no one thought of 
wearing garments until they dropped to pieces of them- 
selves. Individual and domestic purity, thus 
ment-ciothing, greatly promoted by the using of frequent- 
ly-changed and cheap cottons, was again sin- 
gularly aided, at a subsequent period, by the introduction 
of baths into private houses. The consequence was, that 
contagious diseases diminished in destructiveness, and 
the death-rate declined. Among minor but still import- 
ant improvements, tending to comfort and health, may be 
mentioned, as belonging to the last century, the cultiva- 
tion in gardens of the fine varieties of fruits. 

In America, political independence, secured by the Rev- 
olution, was soon followed by a desire not 

America attempts ., . . n , p . . ,, v . -i • n n 

intellectual inde- so easily gratified — lor intellectual mdepend- 

pendence, J ° - 1 

ence. The success of the American Philo- 
sophical Society, which had been established by Frank- 
lin in Philadelphia, gave rise to the institution of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Massachu- 

Aud founds phiio- se tts in 1780. Between 1783 and 1801 not 
sopnicai societies. j egg t k an seven t een new colleges were found- 
ed. Schools of a lower grade, academies and libraries, 
were multiplied in all directions. Among the more prom- 
inent men there were several whose writings gained the 
reluctant admiration of English critics. The Declara- 
tion of Independence, viewed simply as a literary compo- 
sition, was admitted not to yield the palm of merit to any 
contemporaneous political paper. The controversy re- 
specting the appointment of Episcopal bishops in the col- 
onies was supposed to have aided much in 

Influence of the . . -, . . . . -■ . . 

Episcopal contro- improving literary taste: that controversy 

versy in literature. x . S 5 ^ , * 

continued from the middle of the century 
to the Revolution. 
The narrow fringe of Atlantic population spread by de- 


grees over the Alleghanies toward the Mississippi River. 
It was occupied in self-organization, and in making prep- 
aration for its future political development. In this at- 
tempt it had to accomplish its object under circumstances 
of great difficulty ; it had no national religion, no guide 
in an established church. The state of society and the 
events of the Revolution had made that an impossibility. 
There can be no doubt that this was the cause of deep 
anxiety among the great men of the time. Doubtless it 
was reflections connected with this that abated the sym- 
pathy of Washington with the French, and 

Difficulties arising -• -i -i . . -i ,-, -i n l • i , i i 

from the absence of led nun toward the close oi his days to look 

a national church. . y. • 

wistfully at the contemporaneous condition 
in England. Constituted as American society then was, 
the voyage of national life was about to be taken with- 
out the accustomed compass on board. No one could tell 
how a purely voluntary Church would succeed. In all its 
previous existence, the English race had never been with- 
out an authoritative religious guide; however, it was now 
only carrying the principles of the Reformation one step 
forward to their logical issue. As long as the political 
heavens were clear, things might go well ; the light of hu- 
man reason, like the light of the pole star, might be a suf- 
ficient substitute ; but who could foresee the result when 
that light was shut out in the tempests of political pas- 
sion that must sooner or later arise. 

In the North, at the close of the period we have been 

considering; — the eighteenth century — the 

Effect of the culti- ... , . ?,. ... i«-it -it 

yation of Theology theological dlSDOSltlOn Which had been man- 
in the North, 1 • 1 -1 • -I • 

nested in the colonial times was still pre- 
dominant. In every community the minister of the Gos- 
pel was the conspicuous man. He gave a tone to thought, 
and was the pivot on which almost every social enter- 
prise turned. Even in later times, though his influence 
in the great cities has declined, partly through the more 


general diffusion of knowledge, and partly through the 
widespread adoption of French ideas by the richer classes, 
and their luxurious life, he still retains no insignificant 

In the South it was different. Parliamentary elo- 
And of Law m the q^nce was prized more than pulpit ora- 
south. tory. Law was a favorite profession, not so 

much from considerations connected with local influence 
as from its leading to distinction in the national coun- 
cils. Perhaps it was owing to this that in Washington 
the senators and representatives of the North did not 
compare favorably with those of the South. The North 
consecrated her best intellect to the Church, the South 
sent hers to the Capitol. Perhaps, also, it was in no 
small degree owing to this that the government was for 
so many years under the control of the able upholders 
of slavery. 



There is a geographical tendency to Union in the North, and against it in the South. 

The New England idea of Unionism, after several abortive attempts, was embodied 
in the Confederation, which was forced upon the reluctant American people by 
unavoidable circumstances. It was especially resisted by the smaller states, but 
was at length adopted. This constitutes the first step in the progress of Ameri- 
can centralization. 

The linear arrangement of the colonies along the At- 
lantic coast was adverse to consolidation. They had no 
political connection with each other, though their inhab- 
itants had the right of passing from one to another at 
their pleasure, and dwelling where they chose. This priv- 
ilege was more and more generally exercised as theolog- 
ical differences and the theological epoch came to an end. 

The tendency to centralization was much less favor- 
oeographicai tend- ed h J natural circumstances in the South 
uXa?Jrm?h n e" than it was in the North. The original 
Southern settlers found their territory bro- 
ken up into a multitude of separate peninsulas by many 
subordinate rivers, having a general course from the west 
to the east. There were the York, the James, the Ro- 
anoke, the Neuse, the Cape Fear, the Pedee, the Santee, 
the Savannah, the Altamaha. Each little section, having 
its own means of connection with the sea, had no occa- 
sion to pass through the territory, or to be dependent on 
the will of its neighbor. The original spirit of independ- 
ence brought by these settlers from England was there- 
fore strengthened by the structure of the country they 
occupied. No great metropolis could spring up, for there 


was no extensive outlying dependent territory. A mul 

titude of little marts and towns was the necessary conse 


Very different would it have been if the Southern sec 

influence of rivers tion of the Atlantic border, instead of set 
on centralization. ^ n g } n ^ gea ^ as k as \>een described in 

Chapter II., had received a flexure of elevation along the 
coast, so that each of these subordinate streams had dis- 
charged its waters into a common trunk, flowing in the 
bottom of the valley north and south. Such a river sys- 
tem would have formed a political bond. At the outlet 
there would have been built the common metropolis of 
the whole country. 

The value of such a central stream is seen, in a general 
manner, in the case of the St. Lawrence. The fate of 
Canada turns on the possession of Quebec. The same 
principle is exemplified in the Mississippi. Whoever is 
strong enough to hold the mouth of that river will con- 
trol the interior of the whole continent. 

Through the progress of physical science and mechan- 
ical invention the application of these principles has some- 
what altered, though the principles themselves remain un- 
changed. Lines of railroad operate now in the same man- 
ner that rivers did a century ago. Rivers themselves are 
being conquered by engineering skill. The day will come, 
perhaps it is not very far distant, when the whole river 
system of the republic will be under human control, and 
gigantic streams, such as the Mississippi and Missouri, be 
made to flow with a uniform current throughout the 
year. Commerce will not long endure their present vari- 

In the North the tendency to centralization was more 
The rivers of the f avore d by topographical conditions. The 
abTe^ent/S- existence of a great harbor at the mouth of 
tlon ' the Hudson, with immediate access to the 



sea, gave to that river a superiority over the Delaware. 
This natural advantage was strengthened artificially when 
the canal system of New York was carried into effect. 
The metropolis of that state then became a chief commer- 
cial and financial centre. 

In the South the sentiment of separate independence 
was thus continually strengthened ; there was no unity 
of interest directed to one local industrial point, and, as 
far as natural circumstances were concerned, no common 

In this respect the two regions manifested a difference ; 
the one tended to diversity, the other to unity. 

But, as if to neutralize this consequence of their topo- 
graphical condition, precisely the reverse en- 
siavery iS e fhe sued from their political, their social state. 

South. . . TTTl • 1 • t 

Alter the invention of Whitney s gin, the 
bond of negro slavery united the South. Uniformity of 
interests and of pursuits, arising from the cultivation of 
tobacco and cotton, imparted homogeneousness to it. 

The North was thus bound together naturally and ter- 
ritorially, the South artificially and politically. Compar- 
ing them together, the advantage lay with the former, be- 
cause the principle of its union was indestructible ; on 
the contrary, with the latter, there was always a liability 
that its principle of union might prove to be ephemeral. 
Anticipations of that kind have been completely verified 
by the events of the civil war. It was not, however, un- 
til a more advanced period of their history that the South- 
ern people came under the influence of the bond to which 
reference is here made. Not until a great development 
in the cultivation of cotton had occurred was the political 
power of negro slavery completely felt. On negro slav- 
ery the South could be, and was united as one man. 

If such, on a comparatively insignificant scale, has been 
the state of things among the dwellers of the Atlantic 


border, what shall we say as regards their great offshoot, 
the inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley? 

Necessity of union T ., -m-it • • • 

to the Mississippi In that unparalleled region a river naviga- 
tion equal in length to that of the whole 
coast-line of the Atlantic Ocean — a navigation with but 
one natural outlet — binds in a supreme and inexorable ne- 
cessity, the force of which is momentarily increasing, mil- 
lions of men. There lies the strength of the American 
Union. The man of the North will tolerate no obstruc- 
tion of that stream. If the lesson he has of late so im- 
pressively taught does not perpetually suffice, he will 
again hew his way to the Gulf of Mexico with his sword. 
He must and will have a free path to the sea ; he must 
and will have a united people on those bants. 

The early colonists developed their infant institutions 
with practically but little external control. The Atlan- 
tic Ocean served as a barrier to protect them from mo- 
lestation. Perpetual wars and commotions in Western 
Europe drew attention from them. In favorable obscur- 
ity and oblivion the Cavalier and the Puri- 

Early attempts of. n . i , -i • -i • j • -i r» mi 

the colonies to in- tan devised their political forms. Ine com. 

sure union. xl. j. ' '±\, 

mg of a new governor, the tampering with a 
charter, the arbitrary mandates of a king, had in reality 
little to do with the course that events were taking. On 
a free stage of action there was the largest personal lib- 

It has already been mentioned, page 154, that a union 
was established among the New England 
nie! o? New En- colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecti- 
cut, and New Haven, in 1643. It was first 
proposed immediately after the Pequod War, but colonial 
jealousy, the forerunner of state -rights, already exerted 
an influence. Connecticut, afraid of the preponderance 
of Massachusetts, wished to reserve to each colony a neg- 


ative on the proceedings of the Confederation. Eventu- 
ally it was agreed that each should retain its local ju- 
risdiction, and be represented by two commissioners. 
Church membership was the only qualification ; thus the 
people beyond the Piscataqua were not admitted, " be- 
cause they ran a different course in their ministry." The 
immediate object of this union was protection against 
the French and the Dutch. To it, therefore, were com- 
mitted the affairs of peace and war, and also internal im- 
provements. It had no executive head or president. 
Massachusetts had no more votes than New Haven ; and 
expenses were assessed according to population. 

During the latter part of the seventeenth century, a 
very general denial that the crown had a right of taxation 
drew the feeble colonies together, and a sentiment that it 
was desirable to have some kind of union for mutual 
protection and common defense disseminated itself by de- 
grees. It became an imperative necessity in 1765, when 
the Stamp Act was passed. In July, 1773, Dr. Franklin, 
then residing in England as the political agent of Penn- 
sylvania, Massachusetts, and Georgia, recommended in an 
official letter a general assembly or a Congress of all the 
colonies. The first step taken with that intention was by 
the House of Burgesses of Virginia, which, having been 
dissolved by the royal governor, met at Williamsburg, 
and there recommended the holding of a general Conti- 
nental Congress. The same view was sustained by Mas- 
The first and the sachusetts, the result being the assembly of 
second congress. the firgt Continental Congress at Philadel- 
phia, 1774 ; Peyton Randolph, a Virginian, was its presi- 
dent. The second Continental Congress (Philadelphia, 
May, 1775) was held by recommendation of the first. 

In this Congress each colony had one vote. The atti- 
tude of a revolutionary government was assumed. An 
army and navy were created, and Washington was ap- 
L— R 


pointed commander-in-chief. On motion of Richard Hen- 
ry Lee, of Virginia, seconded by John Adams, of Massa- 
chusetts, the colonies were declared independent July 4th, 

In 1775, Franklin had submitted to the consideration 
Franklin's plan of °^ Congress Articles of Confederation and 
confederation. Union among the colonies. At first his 
views were not received with favor. Thus the Conven- 
tion of North Carolina declared " that a confederation of 
the colonies was not at present eligible ; that the present 
association ought to be farther relied on for bringing 
about a reconciliation with the parent country, and a 
farther confederacy ought only to be adopted in case of 
the last extremity." 

But even Dr. Franklin avoided the idea of a too per- 
fect centralization. His proposal was to the effect that 
the colonies should enter " into a firm league of friend- 
ship with one another, binding on themselves and their 
posterity, for common defense against their enemies, for 
the security of their liberties and properties, the safety of 
their persons and families, and their mutual and general 

" Each colony was to retain its own laws, customs, 
rights, privileges, and peculiar jurisdiction, delegates to 
be chosen from each colony annually to meet in a Con- 
gress, their sessions to be held in each colony by rotation. 
Congress to have the power of determining on war and 
peace, sending and receiving embassadors, and entering 
into alliances, settling disputes between colony and col- 
ony about limits or any other "cause, and the planting of 
new colonies when proper. To have the power to make 
such general ordinances as, though necessary to the gen- 
eral welfare, particular assemblies can not be competent 
to use : those that may relate to general commerce or gen- 
eral currency, the establishment of posts, and the regula- 


tion of the common forces, and the appointment of gen- 
eral officers, civil and military, appertaining to the gen- 
eral confederacy." 

An executive council was to be appointed by Congress 
out of their own body, to " consist of twelve 

Limited power to n i ii n t • . 

be conceded to the persons, ot whom, on the first appointment, 

executive. x , . ■*- ■"• ' 

one third, viz., four, shall be for one year, 
four for two years, and four for three years ; and as the 
said terms expire, the vacancies shall be filled by appoint- 
ments for three years, whereby one third of the number 
will be changed annually." 

"This council (two thirds to be a quorum in the re- 
cess of Congress) are to execute what shall have been en- 
joined by that body ; to manage the general continental 
business and interests; to receive applications from for- 
eign countries; to prepare matters for the consideration 
of Congress; to fill up pro tempore continental offices 
that fall vacant ; and to draw on the general treasury for 
such moneys as may be necessary for general services, and 
appropriated by Congress for such services." 

Such are the chief features of Dr. Franklin's plan. It 
shows how clearly he recognized the principles that safe- 
ty lay in union, and power in consolidation. It shows, 
too, that, though he foresaw an impending centralization, 
he accepted it with reluctance. An executive council of 
twelve was all that he would permit. With a jealous 
eye to public liberty, he fettered Congress with restric- 
tions, and enfeebled his executive council with numbers 
and changes. His plan, therefore, was an illustration of 
the statement that " the making of Constitutions consists 
in inventing antagonisms, and rendering them precarious 
by elections for terms." 

As soon as the step of declaring the independence of 
the colonies was taken, it became obvious that this or 
some other plan of confederation must be resorted to. 


The Articles of Such a plan was therefore reported to Con- 
tttXt- gress in July, 1776, and adopted by that 
body for recommendation to the states, No- 
vember, 1777. 

The circular letter from Congress to the states submit- 
ting the proposed " Articles" to their consid- 

Difficulty of insur- .. , .. . n , . . .. 

iug theif favorable eration, by its air oi entreaty, snows with 

consideration. -i i i -i • • 

what reluctance the people were submitting 
to their destiny. Keferring to the various interests that 
had to be composed, Congress earnestly intercedes in be- 
half of these Articles : " Let them be examined with a 
liberality becoming brethren and fellow-citizens, surround- 
ed by the same imminent dangers, contending for the 
same illustrious prize, and deeply interested in being 
forever bound and connected together by ties the most 
intimate and indissoluble. In short, this salutary meas- 
ure can be no longer deferred. It seems essential to our 
very existence as a free people, and without it we may 
soon be constrained to bid adieu to independence, to lib- 
erty and safety, blessings which, from the justice of our 
cause, and the favor of our Almighty Creator visibly 
manifested in our protection, we have reason to expect, 
if, in an humble dependence on his divine providence, 
we strenuously exert the means which are placed in our 

In the discussions ensuing in the various states on the 

question of adopting these " Articles of Con- 
e/states thatthl " federation," an instinctive dread that confed- 

more powerful . . • ,-, . t -i , • • 

would predomi- eration would pass into consolidation is very 

nate. x J 

obvious. The little states were afraid of be- 
ing swallowed up by the larger. Under this sentiment 
Maryland objected to the vast territorial possessions of 
Virginia, and desired to have " commissioners appointed 
who should be empowered to ascertain and restrict the 
boundaries of such of the confederated states which claim 


to extend to the Eiver Mississippi or to the South Sea." 
In this she was strenuously joined by Rhode Island, who 
desired that the domains in question should be taken 
from the great states, and disposed of* or appropriated by 
Congress for the benefit of the whole confederacy. Del- 
aware accompanied her act of accession to the Confeder- 
acy with resolutions to the effect that the great states 
ought to be curtailed ; that she considered herself enti- 
tled, in common with the other members of the Union, to 
the territories of the West, for the reason that they had 
been or might be gained by the blood and treasure of 
all, and ought therefore to be a common estate. 

The instructions given to the delegates from Maryland 
views of Maryland snow dearly the apprehensions of the small- 
on that point. er s -fc a tes : " Although the pressure of imme- 
diate calamities, the dread of their continuance, favor the 
appearances of disunion, and some other peculiar circum- 
stances may have induced some states to accede to the 
present confederation contrary to their own interests and 
judgments, it requires no great share of foresight to pre- 
dict that when those causes cease to operate, the states 
which have thus acceded to the Confederation will con- 
sider it as no longer binding, and will eagerly embrace 
the first occasion of asserting their just rights, and secur- 
ing their independence. Is it possible that those states 
who are ambitiously grasping at territories to which, in 
our judgment, they have not the least shadow of exclu- 
sive right, will use with greater moderation the increase 
of wealth and power derived from those territories when 
acquired, than what they have displayed in their endeav- 
ors to acquire them ? We think not. We are convinced 
that the same principle which hath prompted them to in- 
sist on a claim so extravagant, so repugnant to every 
principle of justice, so incompatible with the general wel- 
fare of all the states, will urge them on, and add oppres- 


sion to injustice. If they should not be incited by a su- 
periority of wealth and strength to oppress by open force 
their less wealthy and less powerful neighbors, yet de- 
population, and consequently the impoverishment of those 
states, will necessarily follow, which, by an unfair construc- 
tion of the Confederation, may be stripped of a common 
interest, and the common benefits derivable from the 
Her .apprehensions Western country. Suppose, for instance, Vir- 
of Virginia. ginia indisputably possessed of the extensive 

and fertile country to which she has set up a claim, what 
would be the probable consequences to Maryland of such 
an undisturbed and undisputed possession? They can 
not escape the least discerning." 

" Virginia, by selling on the most moderate terms a 
small portion of the lands in question, would draw into 
her treasury vast sums of money, and, in proportion to 
the sums arising from such sales, would be enabled to 
lessen her taxes. Lands comparatively cheap, and taxes 
comparatively low, with the lands and taxes of the adja- 
cent state, would quickly drain the state thus disadvan- 
tageous!^ circumstanced of its most useful inhabitants ; 
its wealth, and its consequence in the scale of the con- 
federate states, would sink of course. A claim so injuri- 
ous to more than one half, if not to the whole of the 
United States, ought to be supported by the clearest 
evidence of the right. Yet what evidences of that right 
have been produced, what argument alleged in support 
either of the evidence or the right ? None, that we have 
heard of, deserving a serious refutation." 

"It has been said that some of the delegates of a neigh- 
boring state have declared their opinion of the impracti- 
cability of governing the extensive dominion claimed by 
that state. Hence, also, the necessity was admitted of di- 
viding its territory and erecting a new state under the 
auspices and direction of the elder, from whom, no doubt, 


it would receive its form of government ; to whom it 
would be bound by some alliance or confederacy, and by 
whose councils it would be influenced. Such a measure, 
if ever attempted, would certainly be opposed by the 
other states as inconsistent with the letter and spirit of 
the proposed Confederation. Should it take place by 
establishing a sub-confederacy, imperium in imperio, the 
state possessed by this extensive dominion must then 
either submit to all the inconveniences of an overgrown 
and unwieldy government, or suffer the authority of Con- 
gress to interpose at a future time, and to lop off a part 
of its territory, to be erected into a new and free state, 
and admitted into the Confederation on such conditions as 
shall be settled by nine states. If it is necessary for the 
happiness and tranquillity of a state thus overgrown that 
Congress should hereafter interfere and divide its terri- 
tory, why is the claim to that territory now made, and so 
pertinaciously insisted on ? We can suggest to ourselves 
but two motives — either the declaration of relinquishing 
at some future time a proportion of the country now con- 
tended for was made to lull suspicion asleep and to 
cover the designs of a secret ambition, or, if the thought 
was seriously entertained, the lands are now 

She claims an equal -i • i ■ • t . m n 

share in unsettled claimed to reap an immediate profit irom 


their sale. We are convinced policy and 
justice require that a country unsettled at the commence- 
ment of this war, claimed by the British crown, and ceded 
to it by the Treaty of Paris, if wrested from the common 
enemy by the blood and treasure of the thirteen states, 
should be considered as a common property, subject to 
be parceled out by Congress into free, convenient, and 
independent governments, in such manner and at such 
times as the wisdom of that assembly shall hereafter di- 

" Thus convinced, we should betray the trust reposed 


A . . . . . in us by our constituents were we to au- 

And instructs her •/ 

SSfto tffcSi- thorize you to ratify on their behalf the 
satfsSKat Confederation unless it be farther explained. 
We have coolly and dispassionately consid- 
ered the subject; we have weighed probable inconven- 
iences and hardships against the sacrifice of just and es- 
sential rights, and do instruct you not to agree to the 
Confederation unless an article or articles be added there- 
to in conformity with our declaration. Should we suc- 
ceed in obtaining such article or articles, then you are 
hereby fully empowered to accede to the Confederacy." 

To this dread, experienced by the smaller states, of be- 
ing swallowed up by the larger, was added apprehension 
arising from the concentration of military power in the gen- 
eral government. It is indicated in the proposal of South 
pro osais of south Carolina " that the troops to be raised should 
£g "th^muftary" be deemed the troops of that state by which 
force ' they are raised. The Congress, or Grand 

Council of the states may, when they think proper, make 
requisition on any state for two thirds of the troops to be 
raised, which requisition shall be binding upon the said 
states respectively, and the remaining third shall not be 
liable to be drawn out of the state in which they are 
raised without the consent of the executive authority of 
the same. When any forces are raised, they shall be un- 
der the command of the executive authority of the states 
in which they are so raised, unless they be joined by 
troops from any other state, in which case the Con- 
gress or Grand Council of the states may appoint a gen- 
eral ofiicer to the command of the whole, and, until the 
same can be done, the command shall be in the senior of- 
ficer present, who shall be amenable for his conduct to 
the executive authority of the state in which the troops 
are, and shall be liable to be suspended thereby." 

Under the pressure of the war, concessions and compro- 


cession of the niises were made. New York set the exam 
western Territory. ^y e f ce( j m g jj er Western lands ; New Jer 

sey sacrificed the objections she had urged ; Delaware fol 
lowed, and, after two years, Maryland. Thereupon Vir 
ginia ceded her claims to the Northwestern Territory, giv 
ing an imperial domain to the Union, and thereby insur 
ing its permanency. This cession was not, however, com 
pleted until 1784. 

From these events we may perceive how strong the 
public desire was becoming that the disconnected states 
should unite, and that a nation should be formed. It 
was clear that mere state governments could never force 
England into an acknowledgment of independence, and 
that "there were things to be done on this continent 
which could only be done by a national power." Not 

Misgivingsrespect- but tliat t nere were man y misgivings that 
ing centralization, confederation would lead to consolidation, 

and the germ of an imperial authority be planted. But 
the great men who stood at the general point of view 
recognized the irresistible necessity. Washington says 
that ever since he had been in the service he had labored 
to discourage all kinds of local attachments and distinc- 
tions of country, denominating the whole by the greater 
n*me of American, but that he had found it impossible 
to overcome prejudices. 

On March 1st, 1781, the Articles of Confederation were 

finally adopted by the states. Under the 

the "Articles of designation of " The United States of Amer- 

Confederation." # ° 9 9 

ica," " a firm league of friendship was mutu- 
ally contracted between each other for their defense, the 
security of their liberties, and their mutual and general 
welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against 
all force offered to, or attacks made upon them or any of 
them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any 
other pretense whatever." 



The Confederation proves to be inadequate to the wants of the nation, and is sup- 
planted by the Constitutional Union. There is a struggle in several of the states 
to resist their destiny. Executive power is eventually lodged in one man, and 
Washington is elected the first President. It becomes apparent that in the Ameri- 
can Eepublic, as in all great communities, the concentration of power is inevitable. 

A few years of trial demonstrated the practical ineffi- 
ciency of " the Confederation." The war had 

The Confederation K. , 

proves to be a fail- closed, independence and peace had been se- 
cured. The concessions so grudgingly yield- 
ed — concessions extorted solely by the stern logic of 
events, proved altogether inadequate to the necessities of 
the nation. It became apparent that too much power 
had been retained by the states, too little granted to Con- 
gress. « 

The American Revolution was a protest against the 
central authority of London. This gave a 

The jealousy with , ,1 ,• /» ,i • i i i • 

which its Articles tone to the action 01 the associated colonies. 

were conceded. , 

They were bent on making personal rights 
and provincial rights secure. The jealousy they had man- 
ifested to the English king and Parliament they trans- 
ferred to the government they themselves proposed to 
create. They looked upon their Union as a league, each 
state standing in a sovereign attitude, each, large or small, 
having an equal vote. The privilege of taxation they 
had refused to the king they equally refused to their gov- 
ernment. They gave it the power of contracting debts, 
but not the means of paying them. It had not even the 
means of paying accruing interest. It might make requi- 
sitions, but nothing more. Thirteen independent Legis- 



latures, at their pleasure, allowed or refused the necessary 
pecuniary grants. With a defective worldly wisdom, the 
Confederacy was made to trust to sentiments of patriot- 
ism and honor, not to obligations that were capable of 
being enforced. Washington declared that the prolonga- 
tion of the war through so many years was due to Con- 
gress not having the power of taxation. It was not per- 
mitted to levy import or export duties. It had no con- 
trol over foreign trade. It had no independent revenue. 
The quotas to be paid by the different states to meet the 
general needs were levied, not in proportion to the popu- 
lation, but on the value of real estate. There was no fed- 
eral judicature. No standing United States army was 
permitted. It was thought that liberty would be less 
endangered by dividing the military force into thirteen 
little armies, each state controlling its own fragment. 

Mr. Bancroft, in his examination of the Confederation 
(Hist. U. S., vol. ix., p. 446), makes this remark : " A gov- 
ernment which had not the power to levy a tax, or raise 
a soldier, or deal directly with an individual, or keep its 
engagements with foreign powers, or amend its Constitu- 
tion without the unanimous consent of its members, had 
not force enough to live." The people had yet to learn 
that, to perpetuate liberty, a portion of freedom must be 

No one comprehended more clearly the position of af- 
fairs, or foresaw more plainly the inevitable 

Washington's , ^ T7 -. . ... 

views respecting event, than W asmngton — no one recognized 

its imperfections. ' ° *-> 

the feebleness of the Confederacy more quick- 
ly. In 1784, in a letter to the Governor of Virginia, he 
says : " The disinclination of the individual 
Governor of vir- states to yield competent powers to Con- 

ginia. /» -i 

gress for the federal government, the unrea- 
sonable jealousy of that body and of one another, and 
the disposition which seems to pervade each of being all- 


wise and all-powerful within itself, will, if there is not a 
change in the system, be our downfall as a nation. This 
is as clear to me as A B C ; and I think we have opposed 
Great Britain, and have arrived at the present state of 
peace and independence to very little purpose, if we can 
He sees mat a P or- not conquer our own prejudices. The pow- 
mu n stte T sur d r°ender- ers of Europe begin to see this, and our new- 

ed to secure liberty, -i • J i? * J xi t» • ; • i 1 i 

/ ly-acquired mends, the British, are already 
acting upon this ground, and wisely too, if we are de- 
termined in our folly. They know that individual op- 
position to their measures is futile, and boast that we are 
not sufficiently united as a nation to give a general one. 
Is not the indignity alone of this declaration, while we 
are in the act of peace-making and reconciliation, suffi- 
cient to stimulate us to vest more extensive and adequate 
powers in the sovereigns of these United States V 

In a letter to Henry Lee (Oct., 178 6), Washington says : 
" You talk, my srood sir, of employing influ- 

His letter to Lee. , ,-, , Vi • -nr 

ence to appease the present tumults m Mas- 
sachusetts (Shay's Eebellion). I know not where that in- 
fluence is to be found, or, if attainable, that it would be a 
proper remedy for the disorders. Influence is not govern- 
ment. Let us have a government by which our lives, lib- 
erties, and properties will be secured, or let us know the 
worst at once." 

In another letter to Mr. Jay, Washington says : " Your 
ms letter to Mr. statements that our affairs are drawing rap- 

Jay, enforcing the • -1 -i . • • -i • , i t tti i 

necessity of a idly to a crisis accord with my own. What 

stronger govern- «f . . 1 , _ 

ment. the event will be is also beyond my fore- 

sight. We have errors to correct. We have probably 
had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our 
Confederation. Experience has taught us that men will 
not adopt and carry into execution measures the best cal- 
culated for their own good without the intervention of 
coercive power. 


"I do not conceive we can long exist as a nation with- 
out lodging somewhere a power which will pervade the 
whole Union in as energetic a manner as the authority 
of the state governments extends over the several states. 
To, be fearful of investing Congress, constituted as that 
body is, with ample authority for national purposes, ap- 
pears to me the climax of popular absurdity and mad- 
ness. Could Congress exert this for the detriment of the 
people without injuring themselves in an equal or great- 
er proportion % Are not their interests inseparably con- 
nected with those of their constituents ? 

" By the rotation of appointment, must they not min- 
gle frequently with the mass of citizens ? Is it not rath- 
er to be apprehended, if they were possessed of the pow- 
ers before described, that the individual members would 
be induced to use them on many occasions very timidly 
and reluctantly, for fear of losing their popularity and fu- 
ture election ? We must take human nature as we find 
it ; perfection falls not to the share of mortals. Many 
are of opinion that Congress have too frequently made 
use of the suppliant, humble tone of requisition in their 
applications to the states, when they had a right to assert 
their imperial dignity and command obedience. Be this 
as it may, requisitions are a perfect nullity w^hen thirteen 
sovereign, independent, and disunited states are in the 
habit of discussing and refusing them at their option. 
Requisitions are actually little better than a jest and a 
by-word throughout the land. If you tell the Legisla- 
tures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded 
the prerogatives of the Confederacy, they will laugh in 
your face. What, then, is to be done ? It is much to be 
feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people, be- 
ing disgusted with these circumstances, Avill have their 
minds prepared for any revolution whatever. 

" We are apt to run from one extreme to another. To 



anticipate and prevent disastrous contingencies would be 
the part of wisdom and patriotism. 

" What astonishing changes a few years are capable of 
producing ! I am told that even respectable characters 
speak of a monarchical form of government without hor- 
ror. From thinking proceeds speaking ; thence to acting 
is often but a single step. But how irrevocable and tre- 
mendous ! What a triumph for our enemies to verify 
their predictions ! What a triumph for the advocates of 
despotism to find that we are incapable of governing our- 
selves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal 
liberty are merely ideal and fallacious ! Would to God 
that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the con- 
sequences we have but too much reason to apprehend." 

Washington knew well, for he had realized it in many a 
bitter moment during the war, that the battle of the Rev- 
olution had been fought between a centralized govern- 
ment on one side and an incoherent league of quarrel- 
some provinces on the other. A shifting sand may, as 
geologists tell us, be made to cohere into stone if it be 
submitted to a sufficiently severe pressure for a sufficient 
time, but such a sandstone, at the best, possesses no flexi- 
bility: it is brittle, and can not stand a blow. To give it 
resisting qualities, it must either be infiltrated with some 
cementing material or melted by fire. Washington knew 
that it was a clear perception of this loose aggregation by 
u our newly-acquired friends" that led them to refuse the 
concession of a treaty of commerce. No guarantee could 
be given by America of her ability to discharge her part 
of obligations contracted. He saw that " state influence" 
would make the states the sport of European policy, and 
that there must be a continental power. 

The opinions thus expressed by Washington were also 
held by Hamilton, the ablest statesman of 

Views of Hamilton. 

the Revolution. He saw that it was abso- 


lutely necessary to establish a solid coercive union ; that 
it would never do to have an uncontrollable sovereignty 
in the states, capable of defeating the powers it had con- 
ferred on Congress. He saw, also, the necessary ineffi- 
ciency of an army belonging to thirteen different and 
frequently rival powers. He would have a chief execu- 
tive officer, and give complete sovereignty to Congress, 
surrendering to it the public purse, and a control over 
foreign affairs — war, marine, finance, trade. He would 
have a general government acting directly on the people, 
and with ample means for its own defense. 

In a letter to Mr. Duane (1780), Hamilton describes 
ms description of vei 7 forcibly the imperfections of the Con- 
the confederation. f ec l era tion, and indicates the organization 
which he thinks the country requires. "The Confeder- 
ation itself is defective, and requires to be altered. It is 
neither fit for war nor peace. The idea of an uncontroll- 
able sovereignty in each state over its own internal po- 
lice will defeat the other powers given to Congress, and 
make our Union feeble and precarious. There are in- 
stances without number where acts necessary for the gen- 
eral good, and which rise out of the powers given to Con- 
gress, must interfere with the internal police of the states; 
and there are as many instances in which the particular 
states, by arrangements of internal police, can effectually, 
though indirectly, counteract the arrangements of Con- 
gress. You have already had examples of this, for which 
I refer to your own memory. The Confederation gives 
the states individually too much influence in the affairs 
of the army; they should have nothing to do with it. 
The entire foundation and disposal of our military forces 
ought to belong to Congress. It is an essential element 
of the Union, and it ought to be the policy of Congress 
to destroy all ideas of state attachment in the army, and 
make it look up wholly to them. For this purpose, all ap- 


j)ointments, promotion, and provisions whatsoever ought 
to be made by them. It may be apprehended that this 
may be dangerous to liberty. But nothing appears more 
evident to me than that we run much greater risk of hav- 
ing a weak and disunited Federal government than one 
which will be able to usurp upon the rights of the peo- 
ple. Already some of the lines of the army would obey 
their states in opposition to Congress, notwithstanding 
the pains we have taken to preserve the unity of the 
army. If any thing would hinder this it would be the per- 
sonal influence of the general — a melancholy and morti- 
fying consideration. The forms of our state Constitutions 
must always give them great weight in our affairs, and 
will make it too difficult to blind them to the pursuit of 
a common interest, too easy to oppose what they do not 
like, and to form partial combinations subversive of the 
general one. There is a wide difference between our sit- 
uation and that of an empire under one simple form of 
government, distributed into counties, provinces, or dis- 
tricts, which have no Legislatures, but merely magistra- 
tical bodies to execute the laws of a common sovereign. 
There the danger is that the sovereign will have too much 
power, and oppress the parts of which it is composed. In 
our case, that of an empire composed of confederate states, 
each with a government completely organized within it- 
self, having all the means to draw its subjects to a close 
dependence on itself, the danger is directly the reverse. 
It is that the common sovereign will not have power suf- 
ficient to unite the different members together, and direct 
the common forces to the interest and happiness of the 
whole. The Confederation, too, gives the power of the 
purse too entirely to the state Legislatures. It should 
provide perpetual funds, in the disposal of Congress, by a 
land-tax, poll-tax, or the like. All imposts upon com- 
merce ought to be laid by Congress, and appropriated to 


their use, for without certain revenues a government can 
have no power; that power which holds the purse-strings 
absolutely must rule. This seems to be a medium which, 
without making Congress altogether independent, will 
tend to give reality to its authority. Another defect in 
our system is want of method and energy in the adminis- 
tration. This has partly resulted from the other defect, 
but in a great degree from prejudice and the want of a 
proper executive. Congress have kept the power too 
much in their own hands, and have meddled too much 
with detail of every sort. Congress is properly a delib- 
erative corps, and it forgets itself when it attempts to play 
the executive. It is impossible that a body numerous as 
it is — constantly fluctuating — can ever act with sufficient 
decision or with system. Two thirds of the members one 
half the time can not know what has gone before them, 
or what connection the subject in hand has to what has 
been transacted on former occasions. The members who 
have been more permanent will only give information 
that promotes the side they espouse in the present case, 
and will as often mislead as enlighten. The variety of 
business must distract, and the proneness of every assem- 
bly to debate must at all times delay. Lastly, Congress, 
convinced of these inconveniences, have gone into the 
measure of appointing boards. But this . is, in my opin- 
ion, a bad plan. A single man in each department of the 
administration would be greatly preferable. It would 
give us a chance of more knowledge, more activity, more 
responsibility, and, of course, more zeal and attention. 
Boards partake of the inconveniences of larger assemblies ; 
their decisions are slower, their energy less, their respon- 
sibility more diffuse. They will not have the same abil- 
ities and knowledge as an administration by single men. 
Men of the first pretensions will not so readily engage in 
them because they will be less conspicuous, of less im- 
L— S 


portance, have less opportunity of distinguishing them- 
selves. The members of boards will take less pains to 
inform themselves and arrive at eminence, because they 
have fewer motives to do it." "I shall 

Hamilton proposes . -• -• . t • i , 

a stronger form of now propose the remedies which appear to 

government. i« • t 

me applicable to our circumstances, and nec- 
essary to extricate our affairs from their present deplora- 
ble situation. The first step must be to give Congress 
powers competent to the public exigencies. The Confed- 
eration should give Congress a complete sovereignty ex- 
cept as to that part of internal police which relates to the 
rights of property and life among individuals, and to rais- 
ing money by internal taxes. It is necessary that every 
thing belonging to this should be regulated by the state 
Legislatures. Congress should have complete sovereignty 
in all that relates to war, peace, trade, finance, and to the 
management of foreign affairs, the right of declaring war, 
of raising armies, officering, paying them, directing their 
motions in every respect, of equipping fleets, and doing 
the same with them, of building fortifications, arsenals, 
magazines, etc., of making peace on such conditions as 
they think proper, of regulating trade, determining with 
what countries it shall be carried on, granting indul- 
gences, laying prohibitions on all articles of export or 
import, imposing duties, granting bounties and premiums 
for raising, exporting, or importing, and applying to their 
own use the product of these duties, only giving credit to 
the states on whom they are raised in a general account 
of revenues and expense, instituting admiralty courts, etc., 
of coining money, establishing banks on such terms and 
with such privileges as they think proper, appropriating 
funds, and doing whatever else relates to the operations 
of finance, transacting every thing with foreign nations, 
making alliances offensive and defensive, and treaties of 
commerce," etc. "The second step I would recommend 


is, that Congress should instantly appoint the following 
great officers of state : a secretary for foreign affairs, a 
president of war, a president of marine, a financier, a pres- 
ident of trade — these officers should have nearly the same 
powers and functions as those in France analogous to 
them, and each should be chief in his department, with 
subordinate boards composed of assistants, clerks, etc., to 
execute his orders." 

Disheartened by the condition of affairs, the leading 

men one after another had abandoned the 

congress by its Congress. In 1783 it had actually d win- 
members. ° , j 

died down to a meeting of twenty persons, 
migrating to various places. After the peace the states 
usurped its authority in matters relating to foreign debts, 
disloyal persons, and other particulars. The English re- 
fused to deliver up the Western posts, because Congress 
could not make good its part of the treaty. The princi- 
ple that had been successfully maintained by the small 
against the large states in the division of Western terri- 
tory was seized upon by demagogues, who incited the 
people to demand that property should be divided and 
held in common, since all had been engaged in saving it 
from British confiscation, and, therefore, were equally en- 
titled to it. Such motives lay at the bot- 

The spread of dissat- . n m i tit i • i tit 

isfaction. shay's in- torn ot bnay s rebellion, which would nave 

surrection. ,' .-n t 

annihilated all property and canceled all 
debts. That rebellion gave the most intense anxiety to 

Hamilton has described in a very striking manner the 
imperfect statesmanship of the times. He 

Imperfect states- wT] i i i ji i n •>• 

manship of the says : " It would be the extreme of vanitv m 


us not to be sensible that we began this 
revolution with very vague and confined notions of the 
practical business of government. To the greater part 


of us it was a novelty. Of those who, under the former 
Constitution, had had opportunities of acquiring experi- 
ence, a large proportion adhered to the opposite side, and 
the remainder can only be supposed to have possessed 
ideas adapted to the narrow colonial sphere in which 
they had been accustomed to move — not of that enlarged 
kind suited to the government of an independent nation. 
There were, no doubt, exceptions to these observations 
— men in all respects qualified for conducting the public 
affairs with skill and advantage — but their number was 
small; they were not always brought forward in our coun- 
cils, and when they were, their influence was too com- 
monly borne down by the prevailing torrent of ignorance 
and prejudice. On a retrospect, however, of our transac- 
tions under the disadvantages with which we commenced, 
it is, perhaps, more to be wondered at that we have done 
so well, than that we have not done better. There are, 
indeed, some traits in our conduct as conspicuous for 
sound policy as others for magnanimity. But, on the 
other hand, it mu^t also be confessed that there have 
been many false steps, many chimerical projects and Uto- 
pian speculations in the management of our civil as well 
as our military affairs. A part of these were the natural 
effects of the spirit of the times, dictated by our situation. 
An extreme jealousy of power is the attendant on all 
popular revolutions, and has seldom been without its 
evils. It is to this source we are to trace many of the 
fatal mistakes which have so deeply endangered the pop- 
ular cause particularly — a want of power in Congress." 

With that horror of anarchy which is innate in ele- 
vated minds, Hamilton elsewhere says: " A nation with- 
out a national government is an awful spectacle." 

Shay's insurrection, the danger of losing possession of 
the Mississippi River, the commercial policy of England, 
and a general sentiment of the complete inefficiency of 


the Confederation, made it clear that the 

Motives for modi- n -i ^ j i • i a • 

fying the confed- federal powers must be increased. America 


could not stand in an attitude of equality 
with the great powers of Europe unless she stood as one 
republic, not as thirteen petty sovereignties. Those pow- 
ers were willing enough to treat with her as a collection 
of rival states, and to receive consuls from each. And if 
that was the condition in the outward relations, it was no 
better in the domestic. Rivalries, jealousies, conflicting 
interests, were bringing the states into hostility to each 
other. They were ready to make subordinate leagues, 
dictated by their local interests. Washington declared 
that the true source of all the trouble lay in the tenacity 
of the states to retain their power. 

Massachusetts took the lead in applying the indispensa- 
Actionofthe "hie remedy by declaring that the Articles 

of Confederation were inadequate to their 
purpose. In this she was followed by Virginia, and then 
by New York; but Congress still retained the old jealousy 
of any thing that could possibly have a leaning to aris- 
tocratic or monarchical intentions. 

Unable, however, to resist the public pressure, Con- 
proposaiof con- g ress at length, in 1787, passed a resolution 
irticie? of confed 6 - calling a meeting of delegates from all the 

states for the sole and express purpose of 
revising the Articles of Confederation, and reporting to 
Congress and the several Legislatures such alterations 
and provisions therein as should, when agreed to in Con- 
gress and confirmed by the states, render the federal Con- 
stitution adequate to the exigencies of the government 
and the preservation of the Union. Delegates were ac- 
cordingly appointed from all the states except Khode Isl- 
and. The meeting took place at Philadelphia, and Wash- 
ington was unanimously elected to preside over its delib- 
erations. It was at once found impracticable to revise 

278 THE CONSTITUTION. . [Sect. in. 

• The convention ^ ne °^ Articles of Confederation, as had 
to devise? new been ordered, and a majority of the Conven- 
tion resolved to form an entirely new Con- 

The Constitution agreed upon and transmitted to Con- 
gress was submitted to Conventions of the 

It is resisted as an -. . 

attempt at centraii- several states. In the discussions that en- 


sued among some of these bodies the polit- 
ical position was very clearly set forth. As a striking 
example may be quoted the speech of Patrick Henry in 
the Convention of Virginia. He demanded why the old 
Confederation had been abandoned, and by what author- 
ity the Convention had assumed to make a consolidated 

" I would here make this inquiry of those worthy char- 
patrkk Henry's at- acters who composed a part of the late fed- 
eral Convention. I am sure they were fully 
impressed with the necessity of forming a great consoli- 
dated government instead of a confederation. That this 
is a consolidated government is demonstrably clear, and 
the danger of such a government is to my mind very 
striking. I have the highest veneration for those gentle- 
men, but, sir, give me leave to demand what right had 
they to say We, the people ? My political curiosity, ex- 
clusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, 
leads me to ask who authorized them to speak the lan- 
guage of we, the people, instead of we, the states f States 
are the characteristics, the soul of the Confederation. If 
the states be not the agents of the compact, it must be 
one great consolidated government of the people of all the 
states. I have the highest respect for those gentlemen 
who formed the Convention, and, were not some of them 
here, I would express some testimonial of esteem for 
them. America had, on a former occasion, put the ut- 
most confidence in them — a confidence which was well 


placed, and I am sure, sir, I could give up any thing to 
them. I would cheerfully confide in them as my repre- 
sentatives. But, sir, on this great occasion, I would de- 
mand the cause of their conduct. Even from that illus- 
trious man who saved us by his valor, I would have a 
reason for his conduct ; that liberty which he has given 
us by his valor tells me to ask this reason, and sure I am, 
were he here, he would give us this information. The 
people gave them no power to use their name. That 
they exceeded their power is perfectly clear." 

"The proposed system produces a revolution as rad- 
ical as that which separated us from Great 

He affirms that it is -^ . . . Tl • t i • r» • ,1 • . . 

destructive of state .Britain, it is as radical it in this transi- 


tion our rights and privileges are endanger- 
ed, ana the sovereignty of the states be relinquished ; and 
can not we plainly see that this is actually the case ? The 
rights of conscience, trial by jury, liberty of the press, all 
your immunities and franchises, all pretensions to human 
rights and privileges, are rendered insecure, if not lost, by 
this change, so loudly talked of by some, so inconsider- 
ately by others. Is this tame relinquishment of rights 
worthy of freemen ? Is it worthy of that manly forti- 
tude that ought to characterize republicans ? It is said 
that eight states have adopted this plan. I declare that 
if twelve and a half had adopted it, I would, with manly 
firmness, and in spite of an erring world, reject it." 

" Should it go into operation, what will the states have 
to do ? Take care of the poor, repair and make high- 
ways, erect bridges, and so on, and so on. Abolish the 
state Legislatures at once. For what purposes should 
they be retained ?" 

From such facts it appears that the interpretation put 

Nature of the pom- u P on tne Constitution by those who were 

theSnStiolf disposed to reject it was that it substituted 

,lve ' for a Confederacy a centralized government, 


operating upon every individual, and declining the states 
which by it lost their sovereignty. The political prob- 
lem was to combine power in the government with lib- 
erty in the individual. The conditions under which it 
had to be solved had never before existed in any nation. 
In America there was no common religious bond uniting 
the people together. The decomposition of faith, so pow- 
erfully promoted by the Reformation, had gone to an 
extreme. It was impossible to introduce such an ele- 
ment as an Established Church, and secure influence in 
that way. Up to this time there had been but two pow- 
ers in the world, the military and the ecclesiastical. Re- 
lying, therefore, on the fact that man tends spontaneously 
to centralization in government, and has a horror of an- 
archy, the statesmen of the time were driven to political 
combinations alone, hoping to secure strength from the 
union and liberty from the state governments. 

Many years subsequently Mr. Webster defined the gov- 
Mr. Webster's ernment thus formed as a centralized organ- 
charactir^o/S? ization of the people. He showed, 

" 1st. That the Constitution of the United 
States is not a league, confederacy, or compact between 
the people of the several states, in their sovereign capaci- 
ty, but a government founded on the adoption of the peo- 
ple, and creating direct relations between itself and indi- 

" 2d. That no state authority has power to dissolve 
those relations ; that nothing can dissolve them but revo- 
lution; and that, consequently, there can be no such thing 
as secession without revolution. 

"3d. That there is a supreme law, consisting of the Con- 
stitution of the United States, acts of Congress passed in 
pursuance of it, and treaties ; and that, in cases not ca- 
pable of assuming the character of a suit in law or equi- 
ty, Congress must judge of and finally interpret this su- 


preme law as often as it has occasion to pass acts of leg- 
islation ; and in cases capable of assuming the character 
of a suit, the Supreme Court of the United States is the 
first interpreter. 

" 4th. That the attempt by a state to abrogate, annul, or 
nullify an act of Congress, or to arrest its operation with- 
in her limits, on the ground that, in her opinion, such law 
is unconstitutional, is a direct usurpation on the first pow- 
ers of the general government and on the equal rights of 
the other states, a plain violation of the Constitution, and 
a proceeding essentially revolutionary in its character and 

The essential difference between the Confederation and 
the Constitution which displaced it was therefore this : 
that the former acted on the states, the latter on individ- 
uals ; the former was a union of states, the latter a sover- 
eignty over the people. 

The Constitution was at length ratified and adopted. 
A , - ... The states gave up the distinctive attributes 

Adoption of the © x 

washlngton'the 89 ' °f sovereignty — diplomatic relations with 
first President, foreign countries, contracting of treaties, is- 
suing of coinage, etc. The first Congress under it met at 
New York on the 4th of March, 1789, and in the next 
month Washington was inaugurated President of the 
United States. 

In fourteen years the march of events had been very 
rapid. It is a great step from Franklin's unsuccessful 
proposal of an executive council of twelve, changing year 
by year, to one president holding his office for four years, 
and capable of re-election. The nation clearly discerned 
that liberty could not be made safe without government- 
al restraint. 

We see herein the resistless tendency of political affairs 
Rapid process of to concentration. The "Articles of Confed- 
centraiization. eration" were avowedly proposed to secure 

282 WASHINGTON. [Sect. III. 

a perpetual union of the states. The Revolutionary War 
had sanctified the idea of nationality. On that grand 
occasion, when Washington, who knew equally well how 
to command and how to obey, appeared in the hall of 
Congress and resigned his commission as commander-in- 
chief of the army, the President of Congress no longer 
spoke of Confederated Colonies, but invoked the favor 
of Almighty God on the Nation. A little time elapses, 
and Washington reappears as the chief executive officer 
,of that nation. 

The moral grandeur of the first President was as strik- 

characterofwasn- in g T y manifested by his conduct in reference 
ington. ^ ^.j ie Constitution as by the events of the 

Revolutionary War. The forces at his disposal at the 
epoch of the Declaration of Independence amounted only 
to about 17,000 men. After the disaster on Long Island, 
the retreat from New York, the action at White Plains, 
the passage of the Hudson, they had dwindled down to 
barely 3000, ill provisioned, and without blankets or 
tents. Judged by the standard of the civil war, how in- 
significant these forces appear ! With unfailing courage, 
Washington held firm in the dreadful retreat through 
New Jersey, and the forced passage of the Delaware. He 
did not despair when the militia, whose term of service 
was expiring, left him, nor when his regulars deserted. 
He was still hopeful when worsted at the Brandywine, 
and after his ineffectual attempt to save Philadelphia, 
and after his repulse at Germantown. His constancy 
was not shaken in the winter at Valley Forge, when he 
was almost destitute of clothing, of shelter, of food. 

His march from New York to co-operate with the fleet 
of De Grasse, expected in Chesapeake Bay, was a model 
of skillful combination and celerity. Sir Henry Clinton, 
the British commander-in-chief, did not suspect his design 
until it was too late. After a siege of Yorktown, lasting 

Chap. XV.] WASHINGTON. 283 

only thirteen days, he compelled Lord Cornwallis to sur- 
render his whole army of 7000 men and 160 guns. That 
siege was the end of the war. 

Washington had shown that he could bear adversity 
with fortitude, and strike when his opportunity came with 
irresistible vigor. In a manner unparalleled in history, 
he had declined the blandishments of ambition, descend- 
ing without reluctance from the plenitude of power. 
When, in the evening of his life, he was constrained to 
confess, " Perhaps we have had too good an opinion of 
human nature," he did not, as the aged too commonly do, 
adhere with a delusive consistency to his former ideas, 
but, estimating justly the blessings that were to be gain- 
ed or forever lost, he recommended to his reluctant coun- 
trymen a distasteful centralization. He solemnly taught 
them that liberty can not exist without order, and that 
order implies restraint. Once clearly perceiving the in- 
evitable course of events, and that, for the harmonious de- 
velopment of a great and growing nation in all its parts, 
" power must be lodged at one point," his chief solicitude 
was to guide what it was obviously impossible to avoid. 

With majestic serenity he encountered misrepresenta- 
tion and obloquy. A bill for the increase of the army 
was denounced as proving the existence of monarchical 
designs on the part of his administration. The proclama- 
tion of neutrality at the breaking out of the war between 
the French Republic and England and Holland was 
stigmatized as a high-handed assumption of power on 
his part — a royal edict, evincing his monarchical dispo- 
sition. In this we see a revival of the jealous sentiment 
which had led New Jersey, in 1777, to regard his procla- 
mation requiring the taking of an oath of allegiance to 
the United States as an invasion of her state rights. 

If Franklin is to be regarded as the representative man 
of the final colonial period, Washington unquestionably 



[Sect. III. 

assumes the same attitude in the first generation of inde- 
pendent America. From his appointment to the com- 
mand of the Revolutionary army to the day of his death 
(1799), he is the central figure in the picture of American 
life. He dealt with two great political facts — the eman- 
cipation of his native country from foreign rule, and its 
subsequent political organization. He dealt successfully 
with both. Indeed, these were the two facts with which 
the generation in which he lived was concerned. They 
engrossed, almost to the exclusion of every thing else, the 
public attention. There was no time, no opportunity for 
the cultivation of literature or science. Inventive talent 
slept, for it was not until nearly the end of Washington's 
life that Whitney's gin gave an earnest of what that tal- 
ent would eventually do. 

Re-elected president at the close of his first term, the 
influence of Washington thoroughly consolidated the na- 
tion. In him the jarring and jealous states not only ac- 
knowledged, but claimed a common ruler. He was found 
to excel in peace as well as in war ; and as he had been 
fearless in action, so he was wise in council. Not san- 
guine in prosperity, he never desponded in adversity. 
Superior to all selfish considerations, he was, without re- 
ward, faithful to the interests of his country. Cool, delib- 
erate, indefatigable, and of unsullied integrity, he was 
never envious of another's virtue, for he was conscious 
of his own ; and happier even during life than most of 
the race of men, he surmounted the greatest of human 
difficulties — he silenced envy. Considering every thing 
as subordinate to truth, his statesmanship was simple — it 
consisted only of uprightness and straightforwardness. 
The majesty of his character was expressed in the austere 
severity of his countenance. As if he had been more 
than mortal man, the admiration that was cherished for 
his memory by his immediate successors has given place 


to veneration, a sentiment that will last as long as honor 
and justice, virtue and liberty, are prized by the human 

The government had been federal under the Articles 
of Confederation, but the people quickly rec- 

The states at this • 

epoch surrendered ognized that that relation was changing un- 

their sovereignty. ° . ° ° 

der the Constitution, ihey began to dis- 
cern that the power they thought they had delegated 
was in fact surrendered, and that henceforth no single 
state could meet the general government as a sovereign 
and equal. In vain, in subsequent years, did South Car- 
olina assert her right and intention to interfere as a sov- 
ereign and arrest the action of the general government. 
In vain, in her address to her own people in 1832, did 
she affirm that the government is not national, but only a 
mere creation of the states ; that power has only been del- 
egated to it, and may be resumed ; that there is no such 
body known to the laws as " the People of the United 
States;" that a state has a right to resist; that the Su- 

continued protest P reme . G ? uvt is no tribunal in such affairs, 
aPn?uha a t r con- a since it is only the creature of the govern- 
ment. In vain did she assert that the pri- 
mary allegiance of a citizen is due to his state. 

The course of events has shown that President Jack- 
son truly expounded the actual political position when 
he declared that the laws of the United States must be 
executed, and that any attempt at disunion by armed 
force is treason. 

If now we review the various acts in which the genera- 
rt_ . . . tion living from 1775 to 1805 were concern- 

The colonies, in o 

fused into one 11 e( l, we nn( l that they may be included in 
nation. one ^ erm ^ ^ e establishment of the New En- 

gland idea of National Unity. For that the old colo- 
nies hoped, for that their chief men, as Franklin, sedulous- 



[Sect. III. 

ly worked. Its advantages once experienced, for under 
a most imperfect form it delivered them from English 
restriction and English rule, they set themselves to im- 
prove it and give it durability. Detecting the imper- 
fections of their Confederation, they replaced it by a Con- 
stitutional Union, and Washington, the first President, be- 
came the incarnation of the idea. Meantime there was 
germinating in secrecy and unsuspected an antagonistic 
principle, destined in a future generation to dispute the 
empire in mortal conflict with Unionism. 

Confederation passes into union, union produces con- 
solidation, consolidation condenses into cen- 

The inevitable . -,. .. T . . -.-, n a >• 

progress of poim- tralization. It is well tor every reflecting 

cal consolidation. . , . * ° 

man to consider that inevitable sequence. 

Contrast the feeble and unheeded cry of the Conti- 
nental Congress — its supplications — its inability to touch 
individuals, with the administrative vigor of the civil 

But, though the course of empire is unvarying and re- 
sistless, its character may be determined by men. In an 
ignorant and animalized nation, the central power will 
be profligate and tyrannical ; on the contrary, an intelli- 
gent people can fashion it as they please. 

Perhaps no political assertion is more distasteful to an 
American than this, that his institutions inevitably tend 
to centralization. 

It is equally offensive to the individualism of the 
North and to the independence of the South, but it is 
none the less true. 

Forms of polity are the ephemeral products of human 
invention, but the course of political life is beyond con- 
trivance or control. It proceeds in an unavoidable, a 
necessary way. 

We have an illustration of this irresistible progress in 


The tendenc to ^ ne biography of every man. From the first 
Shifted in pi?- moment of life to the last there is an inevi- 
sonai life. table order of development. Many forms in 

succession are assumed previously to birth, and after 
that he pursues an invariable course — infancy, child- 
hood, youth, maturity, decline. Over these, and the at- 
tributes that belong to them, he can not exert any vol- 
untary control ; the young are actuated by passion, the 
old are guided by experience. We came into the world 
without our own knowledge, we depart from it against 
our own will. 

But if thus, in personal life, there is a predestined 
course through which every human being must pass, the 
opportunity is not denied for a manifestation of individ- 
ual peculiarities. The sketch, the outline of our career is 
imposed upon us ; we are permitted to fill in the colors 
as we please. 

It is the same with a nation. There is a course through 
which it must necessarily pass. 'Centralization is one of 
its forms. 

Centralization may be manifested through a control by 
Manifestation of ^ YVi te force; it may also be manifested by the 
Fo^e^indby & dominion of Keason. Centralization of the 
former kind may well excite the antipathy 
of the American; that of the latter may commend itself to 
his admiration. 

The course of empire is prefigured by the course of 

A botanist, looking back on the past history of the 

vegetable kingdom, will tell us that in the 

de h nVy^Tce a ntrai- n " early days there were dense jungles covering 

ization illustrated . -• . -i . . , , . . , 7? 

by the vegetable vast geographical tracts — multitudes of 

world. , ° . . . . 

plants starting up in an inextricable confu- 
sion where only one can now grow. But that, though 
we speak of it as one, in truth represents those multi- 


tudinous forms collected, ordered, concentrated together. 
The buds that have appeared in successive seasons upon 
the oak of a thousand years were each of them individu- 
als ; the tree itself is their combination, a bouquet invis- 
ibly tied by the hand of Nature. The forests teach us 
the inevitable concentring of power. 

The botanist will also tell us that this gradual concen- 
tration which he every where sees is the necessary result 
of natural causes ; that plants, such as palms, are the rep- 
resentatives of a declining but nearly uniform heat, and 
that others, such as the oaks, of which we have been 
speaking, the stems of which, when we cut them across, 
exhibit the appearance of annual rings, could only come 
after the seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter — 
were established in the year. The seasons were the 
cause, the ring-like construction the effect. The general 
concentration, the high organization exhibited by the 
whole tree, is the immediate issue of physical causes. 
Considered in the largest, the philosophical sense, the 
concentrated tree is the inevitable result of the continu- 
ous operation of natural law. 

Now we do not quarrel with the botanist because he 
points out these things to us; on the contrary, we experi- 
ence a positive pleasure as he expands- our views of the 
relations of these beautiful organic forms. The higher 
our degree of previous mental culture may have been, the 
more clearly do we see fitness and even magnificence in 
this universal operation of law — law pervading the ages, 
without variableness or shadow of turning. 

In the same manner the physiologist will speak. He 
will tell us that in that orderly progression 

It is farther illus- /» • i i • i i i 

trated by the orders of animals which nave appeared upon our 
earth there is plainly manifested the princi- 
ple of concentration. In the lowest forms of life, power 
seems to be equally diffused in all the parts. One may 


cut such creatures in pieces, and each portion is as per- 
fect, is as good as any of the rest. From this condition, 
in an inevitable order, a progress is made ; parts that were 
confused together are separated ; one duty is assigned to 
this, another to that ; above all, one is selected for dom- 
inating control. It sends forth its volitions, they execute 
its decrees. Very strikingly do we see the issue of this 
in the last comers of the insect tribes — the bees and ants. 
Concentration has gone so far in them that they are able 
to maintain social relations with one another, to consti- 
tute true societies. They have means for the intercom- 
munication of their thoughts ; they have ideas of govern- 
ment, and, therefore, of law; the one prefers a republican, 
the other a monarchical form. 

But the physiologist, moreover, says that this orderly 
progression, this tendency to concentration, 

And especially m -J- ° 7 . •* . 7 

d^veiopmenf o? 1 1S seen no ^ on v ln ^ ne W0I> ld oi animals, but 
man - also in the life of individual man. He passes 

through a predestined series of developments ; every man 
must, without exception or variation, pass through them. 
Each form has its special lineaments, and also its special 
attributes. There is the slumber of infancy, the activity 
of childhood, the hope of youth, the staid gravity of the 
mature period of reason, the doubt, distrust, imbecility of 
old age. The life of man culminates under the dominion 
of intellect. 

There are very great astronomers and very great math- 
ematicians who tell us that in the begin- 

It is also illustrated . ,, , , /» -i • -i ii • 

by the system of ning all the substance of which the various 

the world, ° , 

planets are composed was mingled together 
in one confused, one attenuated revolving mass — a neb- 
ula of matter and force. By natural operations, which 
they affirm they can explain, a condensation ensued, 
and, one after another, in an order that might have been 
precalculated, for it bears a mathematical impress, orb 
L— T 


after orb was cast off from the revolving mass, and a fam- 
ily of worlds — the solar system — arose. On each of these 
resulting globes, in a grand but necessary manner, recom- 
binations and redistributions of the original principles, 
the matter and the force, occurred, here issuing in me- 
chanical movement, there finding an expression in the 
production of organic forms — organic forms which are 
only local and temporary concentrations of power, ever 
ready to be redistributed and re-used. Round the cen- 
tral sun, in which, by reason of his predominating mass, 
predominating power had concentred, these obedient 
worlds, with all their servitor satellites, pursue their 
courses. There was no hanging back in the movement ; 
no vagrant, wanton wandering, no revolt. Through un- 
utterable ages this universe was, as it is now, an exhibi- 
tion of inconceivable energy, mathematical precision, par- 
amount and predominating law. The concentration of 
power is equally manifested by the humble moss that 
grows upon the wall, and by the awful magnificence of 
the heavens. 

As we did not quarrel with the botanist, so we do not 
quarrel with the physiologist, the mathematician, the as- 
tronomer, for what they say. We perceive that it is not 
the expression of their own opinions or desires, but strict- 
ly a relation of facts — facts which would remain the same 
whether they spoke of them or not. We may have ob- 
jections or dislikes to them, they may not accord with 
our preconceived notions, but that has nothing to do with 
their value, because it has nothing to do with the truth. 

So, when the historian, who has examined the progress 
of human societies, declares that the same 

And by the histor- . . , n . i n • 

kai testimony of principle ol concentration perpetually mani- 

nations. . . . . 

fests itself in them, we should receive in a 
philosophical spirit the evidences he presents. It is of 
no avail to express our dislike or displeasure ; it is of no 


use to declare that we are different from the rest of the 
race of men, and that what has applied to others will not 
hold good for us. We can not too clearly bear in mind 
that there is one law, one destiny for all. If the things 
of which we are thus told be true — if there be this latent, 
this irresistible dominion of Nature — if the inevitable 
consequence be the separation of society into grades, and 
the convergence of power to one point, does any thing 
more remain than that we should accept the truth, and 
deal with it as best we may? To that concentration, 
in which all social and political combinations must cul- 
minate, we may give characteristics — we may permit it 
to be the concentration of violence and brute force, or 
the controlling influence of reason. Its advent we can 
not avoid, its character we may determine. 

Democratical communities too often hide out of sight 
these obvious truths, considering them incon- 

Repugnance of de- • , . • ,i ,t • i -i -i ■» ■ , 

mocrades to these sistent with the independence and equalitv 
of man. Perpetually resorting to organiza- 
tion for the accomplishment of their ends, they decline an 
acknowledgment of the principle implied in that term — 
the partition of duties, the imposing of responsibilities, 
the delegation of power. In any organized democracy, 
though all the members may fancy that they reign, if 
they will only open their eyes, they will perceive that it 
is few who govern. 



Through improvements in the cotton manufacture, negro slavery was restored from 
the languishing condition into which it had fallen at the close of the last century, 
and became a great power in the republic. A pro-slavery influence came into 
existence in England. It was ascertained that the American Slave States could 
obtain a monopoly in the cotton supply, but to insure this they must have more 
land and more laborers. Their political necessities coincided with their indus- 
trial necessities ; they must have more territory to maintain a balance of power 
in the United States Senate, and more slaves to give weight in the House of Rep- 
resentatives. They expected to secure these objects by an alliance with the 
Democratic party. 

After the Declaration of Independence, the first gen- 
innuenceofthe eration, as we have seen, was occupied in 
slave power. forming a nation out of what had, up to that 
time, been disconnected colonies. The annals of that pe : 
riod are the annals of the foundation and consolidation of 
the Union. In the second generation, from 1805 to 1835, 
we witness the growth of the antagonistic principle, 
slavery, which, from being in a languishing and apparent- 
ly moribund condition, suddenly, under the influence of 
accidental circumstances, gained a new lease of life. The 
ominous and lowering aspect of this dark apparition 
throws into insignificance all contemporaneous events. 
The romantic conspiracy of Burr, the war with England, 
the purchase of Florida, the Hartford Convention, the es- 
tablishment of a National Bank, the tariff disputes, and 
Nullification, gather their chief interest from their bearing 
upon the development of this baleful power. 

It has been already stated that negro slaves were first 
introduced into Virginia in 1620. The cul- 

Statistics of its ... . t* , •% -it, • i i 

gradual develop- tivation oi tobacco led to a pressing demand 
for laborers, and the supply from Africa 

Chap. XVI.] 



continually increased. In 1645 the value of a negro man 
in Virginia was about $100 ; the black population was 
to the white as 1 to 50. In the course of 156 years 
(1776), counting from the first importation, probably 
about 300,000 slaves had been brought from Africa. 
Several of the colonies remonstrated against the trade. 
Rhode Island had prohibited perpetual servitude; in 
Georgia, Oglethorpe had interdicted it. In opposition to 
these attempts, the British government steadily encour- 
aged it. In 1774 the Continental Congress resolved that 
the importation of slaves should be stopped, but in 1789, 
at the formation of the Constitution, Congress was re- 
strained from interdicting the trade until 1808, when it 
was ended. In 1820 Congress passed a law declaring 
the slave-trade piracy. 

The following table gives the slave population of the 
United States from 1790 to 1860 : 


Slave Population. 


Slave Population. 

1790 . . 

. . 697,879 

1830 . . 

. . 2,009,043 

1800 . . 

. . 893,041 

1840 . . 

. . 2,487,455 

1810 . . 

. . 1,191,364 

1850 . . 

. . 3,204,313 

1820 . . 

. . 1,538,038 

1860 . . 

. . 3,952,801 

From this it appears that the increments are not quite 
equal to what they should be if measured 

Cause of the varia- -. .-, . -, -, n tl -, . , .-, 

tions in slave in- by the standard of the white races on the 

crease. , . _ 

admission of an unrestrained generative ac- 
tion. The resistances which have kept the numbers down 
are undoubtedly to be sought for in the unfavorable so- 
cial circumstances of Southern slave life. It is to be ob- 
served that the increase for the decade ending in 1840 is 
below the mean. 

The periodical oscillations of the black population — 
their increasing more rapidly during the decade from 1820 
to 1830, and declining during another, from 1830 to 1840, 


are probably connected with the increased importation 
of African slaves from 1800 to 1808, in view of the im- 
pending prohibition of the trade. The progress of their 
modification by blood-admixture is also very obvious. In 
1850 one ninth of the colored population was returned as 
mulattoes; in 1860 the proportion had risen to one eighth. 

The great staples of the South eventually became cot- 
cotton and tobacco ton an( ^ tobacco. Indian corn in sufficient 
X^n e he hief quantities for domestic consumption was pro- 
duced ; the marshy lands furnished rice ; the 
cooler upper states yielded large quantities of live-stock 
and hemp. In the extreme South, where the temperature 
is high, sugar was made. 

Cotton, which is here exclusively derived from the an- 
Geographyofthe nua l varieties of the cotton-plant, the peren- 

cotton domain. ^ treeg of ^ tropicg fo^ not Qnly im . 

suited to the climate, but yielding a very inferior prod- 
uct, has for its northern boundary the annual isothermal 
line of 60° ; it is therefore found on that part of the great 
tertiary deposits which reaches from North Carolina to 
the Rio Grande (see map, page 40). For its luxuriant 
growth a large amount of water is required, and this, as 
we have seen, is supplied to the cotton-growing domain 
by the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf 
Stream, which follows the shore-line in the Atlantic 
Ocean. Cotton was first planted in Virginia in 1621. 
Textile fabrics of it were largely used in Mexico from the 
remotest times. 

The great improvements in the cotton manufacture in 
England in the latter half of the last century, the appli- 
cation of the steam-engine as a motive power in mills, re- 
placing the uncertain winds and restricted waterfalls, and 
permitting the establishment of manufactories anywhere, 
the invention of Whitney's gin, successively gave an im- 

Chap. XVI. ] 



petus to the growth of this fibre. The prod- 
creasS^cuitiva- uct of cotton furnished from America in 

1856 was estimated at seven eighths that of 
the whole world ; it amounted in 1860 to more than four 
millions and a half of bales (4,675,770). It should be 
remembered, however, that the weight of the bale has un- 
dergone variations; thus, in 1840, it was 380 lbs. nearly; 
in 1850 it had risen to about 450 lbs. 

In 1821 the cotton crop amounted to less than half a 
m 4 . ,., million of bales ; at the end of the next six 

Statistics of its pro- ' 

duction. years it doubled; in twelve years more it 

had doubled again ; at the end of the next twenty years 
it had again doubled. 

Production of Cotton. 





1820-21 . . 


1853-54 . . 


1826-27 . . 


1854-5i> . . 


1837-38 . . 


1855-56 . . 


1839-40 . . 


1856-57 . . 


1850-51 . . 


1859-60 . . 


1852-53 . . 


But, enormous as was this production, the consumption 
was actually outstripping it. The Gulf States had be- 
come the cotton-garden of the world. In the opinion of 
persons well informed on the subject, a crop of six mil- 
lions of bales would be required in 1866-67. 

The power of the cotton interest is perhaps best illus- 
power of the cotton trated by the value of the staple exported. 
interest. rpj^ f ;fl owm g table presents such values (ap- 

proximate) for periods of five years. 





1801-5 . . 


1831-35 . . 


1806-10 . . 


1836-40 . . 


1811-15 . . 


1841-45 . . 

256,846,035 * 

1816-20 . . 


1846-50 . . 


1821-25 . . 


1850-55 . . 


1826-30 . . 



Cotton does not exert upon the soil producing it so se- 
rious a deterioration as is the case with tobacco. More- 
over, the cotton countries were intrinsically more fertile 
than the tobacco ones. So far, therefore, as the soil was 
concerned, there was no impossibility of meeting the great 
demand. But very different was it in regard to the oth- 
er element of its production — labor. 

The indigenous production of slaves could not be ex- 
pected to give an increase of as much as 

Its increasing pro- ■• . . , . .1 

auction requires tnirty per cent, in the course ot ten years. 

increased labor. «/ j. ^ j 

I he prospective demand lor cotton in the 
same period would increase one hundred per cent. It 
was therefore obvious that the slave system, continuing 
without change, would be altogether inadequate to the 
requirements of the case. Under these circumstances two 
events must ensue : 1st. A redistribution of the slave 
population — its translation from points where the value 
of its labor was less to those in which that value was at 
a maximum ; and, 2d. An attempt to accomplish the res- 
toration of the African slave-trade. 

As regards the first of these — redistribution of the 
K , . . . slave population — it had already begun to 

A drain of slaves x x J © 

siavl^taKn- take effect. The colder grain-growing states 

were being drained of their negroes. A 

competition was arising between the two great staples, 

tobacco and cotton. It was merely a question which 

of them, all things considered, would prove to be the 

more profitable. But the issue could not be mistaken 

when it was seen that in the ten years ending in 1850, 

the slave population of Maryland, Virginia, and North 

Carolina had only increased from two to six per cent., 

while in the Gulf States it had increased from thirty-five 

to fifty-eight per cent. 

, , . The relative progression of three chief pro- 

Rice and tobacco x o x 

vShTotto^fnthe ducts, cotton, tobacco, rice, is seen in the fol- 
siave market. lowing statement of their export to England : 







1803 . . . 
1851 . . . 

$ 7,800,000 



That is, the increase in the export of cotton had vastly 
outstripped that of the other products. Its value had 
risen nearly fifteen fold. There was no important in- 
crease for rice ; that for tobacco was comparatively small. 

Hence admitting, in addition, a liberal domestic con- 
sumption, slave labor had been found less profitable in 
the production of rice and tobacco than in the production 
of cotton. The necessary incident was a translation of 
the slaves to the Cotton States, the increased production 
of cotton indicating increased slave population. 

The number of slaves in the seven chief Cotton States 
increased during nearly the same period (1800 to 1850) 
not less than 773 per cent. In the rest of the Slave States 
the increase was only from 64 to 68 per cent. 

First-class cotton lands could yield from a bale to a 
bale and a quarter per acre ; uplands from half to three 
quarters of a bale ; the Sea Island lands produced only 
half a bale, but this was three or four times the value of 
other cotton. A negro could make ten bales a year. It 
was estimated that, since at 25 cents a pound a bale (400 
lbs.) would be worth $100, if a negro made only six bales 
a year, there would be a profit on his labor of $300. 

With such an inadequate supply and such an im- 
perative demand for negro labor, it is not surprising that 
interested persons looked without horror on the restora- 
tion of the African slave-trade. 

We have now to consider what were the inciting causes 
of this increase in the cotton yield, and of 

Cause of the in- , . . . -. , „ 

creasing demand this imperative demand tor more slave la- 

for cotton. 



Some English artisans, who, about the middle of the 
English improve- last century, were obtaining a s scanty living 
Sweiving mi ng by spinning, weaving, and other such occu- 
pations, turned their inventive talent to the 
improvement of their art. Paul and Wyatt introduced 
the operation of spinning by rollers; Highs, or Har- 
greaves, invented the jenny, by which a great many 
threads could be spun as easily as one. Paul devised 
the rotating carding-engine ; Crompton the mule; Ark- 
wright the water-frame, which produced any number of 
threads of any degree of fineness and hardness. These 
ingenious machines constituted a very great improvement 
on the spindle and distaff of ancient times, and on the 
spinning-wheel, originally brought from Asia, or perhaps 
reinvented in Europe. At length one spinner was able 
to accomplish as much work as one hundred could have 
formerly done* 

While the art of producing threads was undergoing 
this singular improvement, Cartwright, a clergyman, in- 
vented, in 1785, the power-loom, intended to supersede 
the operation of weaving by hand, and to make the pro- 
duction of textile fabrics altogether the result of ma- 
chinery. After some modifications, that loom successful- 
ly accomplished the object for which it was devised. 

As these inventions succeeded, they necessarily led to 
a demand for motive power. In the first little cotton 
factory, the germ of that embodiment of modern industry, 
the cotton -mill, a water-wheel was employed to give 
movement to the machinery. The establishment was, 
therefore, necessarily placed near a stream, where a suffi- 
cient fall could be obtained. 

The invention of the steam-engine by Watt, which was 
invention of the the consequence of the new and correct views 
of the nature of vapors that had been estab- 
lished by Dr. Black, supplied, in due time, the required 

Chap. X VI. ] THE COTTON-GIN. 299 

motive power, and by degrees the water-wheel went al- 
most out of use. Textile manufacture needed now but 
one thing more to become of signal importance — it need- 
ed a more abundant supply of raw material. Though far 
less perfect than in our times, so completely did spinning 
and weaving machinery answer its purpose, that England 
now seriously contemplated her ability to furnish cloth- 
ing for the world. Cotton, the fibre chiefly concerned in 
these improvements, was obtained in limited quantities 
from various countries ; but, at the time of the adoption 
of the Constitution, not a single pound was exported from 
the United States. What was grown here was for do- 
mestic consumption. Every good housewife had her 
spinning-wheel, every plantation its hand-loom. 

The difficulty of supplying cotton fibre in quantity suf- 
ficient to meet the demands of the new machinery was 
due to the imperfect means in use for separating the cot- 
ton from its seeds — a tedious operation, for the picking 
was done by hand. 

Eli Whitney, a native of Massachusetts, by his inven- 
tion of the cotton-gin in 1793, removed that 
tion of the cotton- difficulty. The fibre could be separated from 

gin. ^ , x 

the seeds with rapidity and at a trifling cost. 
There was nothing now to prevent an extraordinary de- 
velopment in the English manufactures. A very few 
years showed what the result would be. In 1790 no 
cotton was exported from the United States. Whitney's 
it provides a sup- gin was introduced in 1793. The next year 

about 1 J million of pounds were exported ; 
in 1795, about 5J millions; in 1860, the quantity had 
reached 2000 millions of pounds. 

The political effect of this mechanical invention, which 
Effect of these m- thus proved to be the completion of all the 
SSionofpop- previous English inventions, being absolute- 

ulation in England. j y necesgary fa g{ye them efficacy, WaS at 


once seen in its accomplishing a great increase and a re- 
distribution of population in England. The manufactur- 
ing towns grew rapidly. A class of society obtaining its 
wealth from the new sources overbalanced the old rich 
landed proprietors. 

In the United States the effects were still more import- 
ant. Cotton could be grown through all the Southern 
Atlantic and the Gulf States. It was more profitable 
than any other crop — but it was raised by slaves. 

Whatever might have been the general expectation re- 
specting the impending extinction of slavery, 
the slave power in it was evident that at the commencement of 

America, . 

this century the conditions had altogether 
changed. A powerful interest had come into unforeseen 
existence both in Europe and America which depended 
on perpetuating that mode of labor. Moreover, before 
long it was apparent that, partly because of the adapta- 
tion of their climate to the growth of the plant, partly 
because of the excellence of the product, and partly owing 
to the increasing facilities for interior transportation, the 
cotton-growing states of America would have a monopoly 
in the supply of this staple. 

But, though mechanical invention had reinvigorated 
And are followed ^e s l ave power by bestowing on it the cot- 
SL^toSL^ ton-gin, it had likewise strengthened union- 
tlon ' ism by another inestimable gift — the steam- 

boat. At the very time that the African slave-trade was 
prohibited, Fulton was making his successful experiment 
of the navigation of the Hudson Kiver by steam. This 
improvement in inland navigation rendered available, in 
a manner never before contemplated, the river and lake 
system of the continent ; it gave an instantaneous value 
to the policy of Jefferson, by bringing into effectual use 
the Mississippi and its tributaries ; it crowded with pop- 
ulation the shores of the lakes; it threw the whole conti- 


nent open to commerce, it strengthened the 

Political effect of . , . -^7- •• . . -• -,...-, 

the invention of the central power at Washington by dimmish- 
ing space, and while it extended geographic- 
ally the domain of the republic, it condensed it politically. 
It bound all parts of the Union more firmly together. 

The locomotion of the Indians, the former occupants of 
the continent, may be said to have been altogether pedes- 
trian. The canoe could only be taken advantage of by 
riparian tribes. It was imperfect locomotion which made 
the American nations so inferior in their civilization to 
the Asiatic, and eventually led to their destruction. Al- 
ready we have remarked that, had but one of the numer- 
ous varieties of horse or camel that once abounded in the 
country escaped extinction, America would have had a 
very different history. It is not improbable that she 
would have preceded Europe in civilization. 

The colonists who settled on the Atlantic border 
brought with them the horse. Through its aid distances 
were shortened, and transporting power greatly increased. 
But, had no better means of locomotion been introduced, 
the republic would with difficulty have extended beyond 
the Alleghanies; its feeble states would hardly have had 
cohesion enough to cling to their centre of attraction at 

At a most opportune moment, therefore, came the in- 
vention of the steam-boat. Its political effect was the 
strengthening of unionism in an unexpected and unparal- 
leled manner. Pedestrian locomotion could accomplish 
at the best not more than four miles an hour ; the horse 
hardly doubled that speed; but the steam-boat fully quad- 
importance of rap- ru P led {t > and likewise indefinitely increased 
£?33j£d m tne facility of transport of freight. But in 
thirty years more the next generation saw 
yet another wonderful advance — the railroad doubled the 
average speed again. It had now attained to thirty miles 



[Sect. III. 

an hour ; if needful, sixty could be reached. A fatiguing 
day's journey had diminished into an insignificant trip of 
a few minutes. The consequence of all this was, that po- 
litical power, was rapidly concentrating at Washington. 
The military roads of Rome lay at the basis of her im- 
Miiitary value of perial power : a remote, outlying force was 
railroads, j n 8W \ft communication with the capital, and 

accordingly the first thing the legions did in a conquered 
country was to build substantial bridges and roads. 
With sedulous activity they kept them in thorough re- 
pair. But the railway, as a military appliance, far ex- 
ceeds in value the ordinary road. On subsequent pages, 
in the relation of army movements, its important advan- 
tages will be seen. 

The locomotive engine aids in neutralizing climate in- 
The locomotive en- Auences by promoting travel, of which it so 
^ conspicuously increases the speed and lessens 

the expense. It improves the health of towns by carry- 
ing urban populations into the country ; it diminishes the 
death-rate by permitting families of children to be brought 
up in a fresh, uncontaminated atmosphere ; it equalizes 
the business seasons of trade, being independent of the 
heat of summer and the ice of winter; it lessens our ideas 
of distance, and increases our estimates of the value of 

In the concentration of political power the electric tel- 
Andtne electric e g ra P n likewise signally assists. Along its 
telegraph. suspended iron wires thought noiselessly 

passes at the rate of 18,000 miles in a second — noiseless- 
ly, for the moaning sound emitted when a gentle wind is 
blowing does not belong to the telegraph, but corresponds 
to the notes of the iEolian harp. Ideas that have come 
under the ocean, or across the continent, or from innumer- 
able points of the country, are flitting about from station 
to station. There is no danger that the extremities of 


the republic will ever be out of reach of the controlling 
power at its centre while the government at 

These inventions x • o 

ift?cii°centr d aS°" Washington can transmit orders to its offi- 
tion * cers at San Francisco, at New Orleans, or at 

the Lakes, in the course of a few moments. 

The foot-passenger, the canoe, the sail, the horse, the 
canal, the steam-boat, the locomotive, the telegraph, mark 
out the degrees of human motion. They also mark out 
the concentration of civilized power. 

In the Constitution it had been agreed that three fifths 
political reasons of the slaves should be accounted as federal 
deciTn^mfSicai numbers in the apportionment of federal 

inventions. , ,• a Vj_* i i j 

representation. A political advantage was 
thus given to slave labor. This closed the eyes of the 
South to all other means of solving its industrial difficul- 
ties. Accordingly, it never looked for relief except in the 
increase of its slave force. 

In this it forgot the incidents that had brought it into 
its extraordinary position. It forgot the mechanical causes 
that lay at the bottom of the great industrial revolution 
in England — spinning machinery, the power-loom, the 
steam-engine. It also forgot what had been the influence 
of one single mechanical invention — Whitney's gin — on 
its own fortunes. 

To the cotton-planter two courses were open. He 
might increase his manual force, or he might resort to 
machinery. Nothing was impossible to the latter had in- 
ventive talent been stimulated and rewarded. Mechani- 
cal agriculture doubtless has its difficulties, but they are 
not insurmountable. The existing slave force of the South 
might have had its economical value inconceivably in- 
creased by resorting to proper machinery. 

In this the South followed the example of antiquity, 
for all the great empires of old preferred slave labor, and 
never attempted to improve machinery. Agricultural 



[Sect. III. 

implements remained untouched for thousands of years. 
In Europe the rural population was impenetrable to 
knowledge and hated improvement ; it would tolerate no 
change in that venerable implement, the wooden plow. 
There was the same want of enterprise as respects me- 
chanical machinery. The saw-mill was not introduced 
until a little time previously to Henry VII. : that event 
was actually an epoch in civilized life. It is affirmed that 
by it lumber was cheapened to one twentieth of its pre- 
vious cost. The immediate consequence was the improve- 
ment of dwellings. Wooden floors ministered to human 
cleanliness, diminished disease and human affliction, and 
lengthened human life. The glazing of windows had a 
similar effect. 

In a servile community mechanical invention will al- 
ways be held in low esteem. In his forced daily toil, 
what does it signify to the slave whether the implement 
in his hand be an improved one or not ? The thing that 
concerns him is the passing away of the weary hours : he 
has no interest in the fruit of his labor. And as to the 
master, it required no deep political penetration for him 
to perceive that the introduction of machinery must in 
the end result in the emancipation of the slave. Machin- 
ery and slavery are incompatible — the slave is displaced 
by the machine. 

In the Southern States political reasons thus discour- 
aged the introduction of machinery. Under 
liticai advantage, the Constitution an increased negro force had 

but slaves do. , . ^ 

a political value, machinery had none. The 
cotton interest was therefore persuaded by those who 
were in a position to guide its movements, that its pros- 
perity could be secured only through increased manual 
labor; and though with so many wonderful examples 
before it of the successful application of machinery in the 
most unpromising cases, it persisted in affirming that in 


this instance it was chimerical, and not worthy of atten- 

But those who are familiar with what machinery is 

capable of accomplishing, who have witness- 

its true interest for e( j the surprising results that have been at- 

machinery could * O 

SfcreaBed iSfpow- tained by the ingenuity of man, look forward 
without any misgivings to the time when 
not alone the cultivation of cotton, but agricultural oper- 
ations of all kinds, will be conducted by its use. It is 
surely as likely that engines may plow and sow, hoe and 
gather, even on the site of a last year's forest, as that 
they should compute mathematical tables for the use of 
astronomers more correctly than the most expert calcula- 
tors can do. Yet that they have accomplished. 

When the Liverpool and Manchester railway was built, 

a prize of $2500 occasioned the invention 

has elsewhere ac- of Stevenson's locomotive. The by-standers 

complished. . , ■* •_ 

could hardly believe their eyes when they 
saw it running at the rate of thirty miles an hour. A 
reward of $100,000, offered by the English Parliament 
for finding the longitude at sea, led to the invention and 
perfection of Harrison's chronometer, and the desired ob- 
ject was accomplished. 

But in the Free States, notwithstanding an influx of 
immigrants, there was a continual demand for labor. It 
was manifested by the high rate of wages. Ingenuity 
was, however, here stimulated, and inventive talent gath- 
ered an abundant reward. In a manner unparalleled in 
the history of any other people, attention was given to 
the construction of labor-saving machinery. It was the 
machinery of the North that told with such fearful effect 
upon her antagonist in the civil war, and strangled the 
slave power by maintaining a blockade along three thou- 
sand miles of coast. 
I.— U 



[Sect. III. 

In 1805 the number of slaves was about one million. 
Deveio ment of ^ ne African trade was to cease in 1808, a 
bet4len e i?06 er measure that had met with the concurrence 
of the South, principally perhaps from moral 
' considerations. It is true that Virginia was accused of 
having given it her support from a belief that her wants 
in that respect were fully supplied, and that any increase 
in the number of negroes would only lessen the value of 
those in her possession. In the Northern States, slavery, 
though lingering nominally here and there, was substan- 
tially extinct. It had ceased to be of any political con- 

At the close of the second generation, in 1835, the num- 
ber of slaves had become about 2J millions. This in- 
crease was internal or spontaneous ; that is, no part of it 
after 1808 was due to immigration. In this respect the 
black laboring population of the South differed from the 
white laboring population of the North, for the latter 
was constantly fed by new foreign supplies. 

Occasionally, in foreign countries, a rapid increase of 
population has been witnessed. Thus the population of 
England remained for centuries in a stationary condition ; 
in fact, from the Norman Conquest to the reign of Wil- 
liam and Mary it had not tripled itself. But as soon as 
the progress of the industrial arts created a demand for 
more men, there was a great increase. The same event 
had occurred on the Continent of Europe in the early days 
of the feudal system, when the value of an estate came 
to depend on the number of retainers it could furnish. 

The increase of the slave population of the South was 
cause of that de- a phenomenon of a similar kind. There was 
veiopment. a d eman( j f or labor-power. Considerations, 

not of an economical, but of a political nature, led to the 
discouragement of machinery, and to an increase in the 
number of slaves. 

Chap.xvi.] dislocation of the slaves. 307 

Two things were therefore necessary to the develop- 
ment of the cotton culture, the laborer and 

Impracticability of . -i *, -i » j_j_"ii? *j. 1 i i 

renewing the am- the land. As respects the former, it had be- 

can slave-trade. - . . . • . , i -i • 

come too late to inquire into the expediency 
of the prohibition of the African trade ; that was an irre- 
versible political fact. So great had been the barbarities 
practiced while that trade was permitted, that the civil- 
ized world had set its face against the system. Proposi- 
tions for conducting the importation of Africans on prin- 
ciples of humanity, of making the " Middle Passage" as 
free from objection as the voyage of emigrants from Eu- 
rope, were listened to with impatience, and put aside 
without ceremony. 

Had not the civil war occurred, so urgent was the de- 
mu , „ mand of the cotton planters for increased la- 

The free-line was ± 

fngtowSlthe 110 " bor-power, so remunerative their pursuit, so 
high the price that a negro was worth in the 
Gulf States, that the South must have necessarily under- 
gone a political disintegration. Nothing could have pre- 
vented the draining of the Border States of their slaves. 
In view of the opinions of the civilized world respecting 
the African trade, there was no probability that it could 
ever be re-opened, not much could be done by the im- 
portation of Chinese or coolie labor from Asia, and ap- 
parently the inevitable result was the bringing down of 
the free-line toward the Gulf. 

As regards the second element of the cotton cultiva- 
a demand for more ti° n — land — the requirement was much less 
urgent. The great crops that were even- 
tually (1860) raised did not occupy much more than 
10,800 square miles — a moderate proportion of the en- 
tire available territory, which was estimated at about 
666,000 square miles. But as there was a political con- 
sideration, the fths slave provision, which led to the exclu- 
sion of machinery and a preference for manual labor, so 


another political consideration led to a craving for terri- 
tory. The balance of power in the United States Sen- 
ate must be maintained against the North by the inces- 
sant creation of new slaveholding states. Doubtless an 
enlightened policy, looking to the future, approved of that 
course, for the deterioration of the land caused by the 
growing of cotton was, under the circumstances, irrepar- 
able. Artificial means, by manures or amendments, were 
out of the question, and the whole operation implied a 
present destruction of fertility — a killing of the soil. 
Through natural causes, in the slow lapse of years, a par- 
tial restoration of the virgin qualities of the soil might 
occur, but that was, at the best, an affair of time, and 
therefore unavailing. 

Political foresight thus agreed with political expedien- 
cy in connecting the slave system with ter- 

It is strengthened . . , . -. , ■ . , n 

by political consid- ritonal expansion. Dunns: the epoch of 

erations. . * # ° x 

which we are now speaking, that longing 
was twice gratified in the acquisition (1803) of the 
French possessions known as Louisiana by Jefferson, and 
the Spanish Territory of Florida (1819) by Monroe. 
The subsequent annexation of Texas was occasioned by 
the same policy. 

There is no better indication of the distribution of po- 
litical power than the distribution of polit- 

Southern infln- ., /-^ • i i i ,1 . . . n 

ences preponderate ical patronage, (ruided by that principle, 

in the republic, . x • i i in i i 

it may be perceived that the South, as stated 
on page 23, was, during this epoch, the dominant power 
in the republic. The leading position acquired by Vir- 
ginia during the Revolution was still retained by her. 
With the exception of Mr. Adams, the immediate suc- 
cessor of Washington, all the Presidents, until 1825, were 
from the South — nay, more, without exception, they were 
all Virginians. Washington was a Virginian, and had 
been re-elected ; Jefferson was a Virginian, and had been 


re-elected ; it was the same with Madison, and the same 
again with Monroe. Up to that time the only Northern 
President had been Mr. Adams, elected because, perhaps, 
the fervor of the revolutionary times had not yet died 
out, but not re-elected. 

If we look a little farther, no election of a successor to 
Mr. Monroe having been made, Mr. John Quincy Adams 
was chosen by the House of Representatives, but his term 
was not renewed upon its expiration. General Jackson, 
a Carolinian, succeeded him, and he was re-elected. 

During a period of forty-eight years (1789-1837), the 
Slave States had held the reins of government for forty 
years, the Free States only eight. It followed, of course, 
that in the distribution of patronage, the former had had 
much more than their just share. Between the parties, 
which, with various fortune, divided the suffrages of the 
North, the slave influence held the balance of power, and, 
affiliating uniformly with the Democratic 

And are maintain- .. -. . . -,-, .. . . . -i • , 

ed by the alliance party, its subservient ally, it maintained its 

of the slave power | ^ 7 v ' -„-»•. 

with the Democrat- hold on the government. With that party 

ic party. O m % *• J 

it shared the profits of political victory, but 
remorselessly exacted a full equivalent in all things that 
touched the interests of slavery. With so much certain- 
ty did it count on these concessions, that, had not the 
civil war occurred, it would have required the restora- 
tion of the African trade. It actually did expect what, 
in a political sense, was still more extravagant — aid in 
achieving secession— an act self-stultifying, for it was 
necessarily suicidal. So thoroughly, however, was the 

South- habituated to look for subserviency 

Concessions impe- • - . . i -vr 1 1 t\ ii j_ i • i 

riousiy demanded m the JN orthern Democracy, that, when it 
found itself disappointed in that extraordi- 
nary expectation, its anger knew no bounds. It poured 
forth bitter complaints and invectives. When the at- 
tempt at secession ended in disaster, it laid the blame on 
the treachery of its old ally. 


On minor political points difference of opinion was 
permissible among the Southern population, but the mo- 
ment questions arose affecting the interests of slavery, 
absolute uniformity was exacted. With not more tyran- 
nical sternness and severity did papal Rome, in her most 
arbitrary days, compel implicit obedience. Subsequently 
to 1830, the philanthropical latitude that had been al- 
lowed in the early part of the century was no longer pos- 
sible. The clergy themselves were not excepted. On 
slavery the whole South acted as one man. 

This was the power, resolute, compact, unrelenting, 
which for so many years had dominated in 

It revolts when it , . 1 ... ** . _ .... 

finds it can no ion- the national councils, swavmg; the decisions 

ger rule. ... 

of Congress, and appointing presidents. Ap- 
prehensive of its future, as, under such circumstances, such 
a power must be, it seized the sword as soon as it recog- 
nized plainly that it could no longer retain the sceptre in 
its grasp. 





The development of slavery in the South provoked resistance in the North. Mas- 
sachusetts led the way in forming public opinion in the Free States. The nar- 
rative of her action respecting her own domestic slavery and the African slave- 
trade shows how rapidly anti-slavery ideas found favor with her. The abolition 
of slavery by England gave an impulse to abolition in America. The anti-slav- 
ery ideas of the Declaration of Independence, of the Confederation, and of the 
Constitution, were held in check by the alliance of the slave power and the Demo- 
cratic party. The incessant attacks of the Abolitionists on the slave institution 
led to an exasperated retaliation on the part of the South. 

It was the expectation of those who had taken a lead- 
ing part in the Revolution, the Confedera- 

Expectationinthe . -, , ^ . „ .-, TT . ,-, 

last century that tion, and the formation ot the union, that 

slavery would ' , _ • /» • -i * • 

spontaneously slavery would die out of itself. As to its 

CG3-SG. •/ 

immorality there was no difference of opin- 
ion — every where it was looked upon as an evil. 

But, though such was the estimate in which the slave 
system was held, considered from the moral point of view, 
it must not be supposed but that it had strenuous de- 
fenders on grounds of personal interest and of state pow- 
er. Its influence is perceived at the very organization of 
the Confederacy, in the exemption of slaves from taxa- 
tion, and in the resistance of South Carolina to interciti- 
zenship among the states on account of its bearing upon 
slavery. At that early period South Carolina and Geor- 


^ g* a were determined to uphold it. Massa- 

It is sustained by ^-L -i • 

ie l or h ia arolinaand cnuse ^ s an d -Pennsylvania were not unwill- 
ing to destroy it. Even in 1774 an aboli- 
tion society was founded in Philadelphia. It was this 
which, a few years subsequently, urged Congress " to step 
to the very verge of its power" to remove the inconsisten- 
cy of slavery from the American people, and to discour- 
age every species of slave traffic. 

South Carolina and Georgia not only regarded slavery, 
but also the African slave-trade, as absolutely essential to 
their prosperity. With so much determination did they 
urge these views in the discussions respecting the Consti- 
tution, that some of the Northern States were willing to 
give way to the demand rather than that the proposed 
union should fail — rather than " part with them." 

But as the development of the slave power went on, so 
co-ordinately was developed its great antag- 

The development • , ,i , • i • -i m n 

of slavery provokes onist, the anti-slaverv idea, blavery becom- 

resistance. 7 " J 

ing, as such a system must needs be, aggress- 
ive, provoked a fierce resistance. So intense, eventually, 
was the animosity, that it swallowed up all other matters 
of dispute, the free North and the slave South being pit- 
ted against each other in geographical parties. Of the 
latter it may be truly said that all legislation, both do- 
mestic and federal, had but a single object — the protec- 
tion and advancement of the slave system. When the 
civil war broke out, the boundary between freedom and 
slavery was the boundary of the contending powers. 

It might be supposed, from the action of the first Con- 
conditkmofthe tinental Congress, that public opinion unan- 
tnTuStedstates iniously condemned negro slavery. In the 
at the Revolution. u assoc i at i n" prepared by it, and signed by 
the delegates of Maryland, Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, it was agreed, " We will neither import nor pur- 


chase any slaves imported after the first day of December 

next, after which time we will discontinue the slave-trade, 

and will neither be concerned in it ourselves, nor will we 

hire our vessels nor sell our commodities or manufactures 

to those who are concerned in it." 

But that there was really no such unanimity we may 

»x .. ^ .o «. gather from what Mr. Jefferson says respect- 
Attitude of South <p # . 

gi r ?nthes?mwe-" i n g ^ ne striking out of the clause reprobating 
ments. African slavery from the Declaration of In- 

dependence (see page 189). He expressly declares that 
South Carolina and Georgia wished to continue the slave- 
trade. And Mr. Adams, referring to the same document, 
observes: "I was delighted with its high tone and the 
flights of oratory with which it abounded, especially that 
concerning negro slavery, which, though I knew his South- 
ern brethren would never suffer to pass in 

It illustrates the ^ x . . -i n -, ,, 

opposing senti- Congress, 1 certainly would never oppose. 

ments of the times. . ° ' , \ ± 

This was on the occasion of the meeting be- 
tween Jefferson and Adams for considering the first draft 
of the Declaration. 

I have in this chapter to describe the progress of the 
anti-slavery idea. This will perhaps be most clearly done 
by recalling the circumstances under which domestic 
slavery and the African slave-trade, respectively, came to 
an end in Massachusetts. Then, turning to the United 
States, I may consider the gradual increase of force of the 
abolition sentiment in them. So far as Massachusetts is 
concerned, the points to be particularly brought into mind 
are instructively related in Moore's Notes on the History 
of Slavery in that state, previously referred to (page 184). 

But though from the American point of view we may 
correctly consider Massachusetts as the focus of the anti- 
slavery power, and attribute her action, as we have done 
(page 24), partly to the influence of climate and (page 25) 


partly to an awakened conscience, it must not be for- 
gotten that during the period of time involved she, as 
well as all the Atlantic States, were in such a condition of 
intellectual dependence as to be powerfully influenced by 
European and especially by English opinion. Hence it 
was not possible but that the anti-slavery ideas of En- 
gland should produce an energetic reflex action here, and, 
in a review of the American movement, that taking place 
contemporaneously in England can not be overlooked. 

Not without reason do I turn to Massachusetts, for she 
has been the intellectual guide of the nation. If it be 
true, as Sallust says, that the glory of ancestors casts a 
light on posterity, serving to show what are the virtues 
and what the defects of successive generations, Massachu- 
setts, loyal and noble, coming forth from the blood and 
smoke of the civil war, has no need to screen herself from 
the rays converging upon her from Puritan and Revolu- 
tionary times. 

The anti-slavery movement did not fairly begin till 

1766, when measures were taken by several 

slavery operations of the Massachusetts towns, among others by 

m Massachusetts. . ° " 

Boston, for domestic abolition. This was by 
instructing their representatives to obtain a law for put- 
ting an end to that unchristian and impolitic practice, 
the making slaves of the human species. " And for the 
total abolishing of slavery among us, that you move for a 
law to prohibit the importation and purchasing of slaves 
for the future." In 1767 a bill was accordingly brought 
in to prohibit slavery and the slave-trade, but it did not 
pass. The attempt was renewed in 1771, but failed for 
want of the governor's approval. Again it was renewed 
in 1773, under instructions from several of the towns, the 
design being either to impose a prohibitory impost duty, 
or to declare the imported slave free as soon as he was in 


the jurisdiction. Once more it was tried in 1774, and 
again failed to obtain the governor's approval. The con- 
troversy really was between the American colonists on 
the one side and the British governors on the other ; there 
therefore entered into it something more than abstract 
philanthropy. The policy of England at this time was 
for the promotion of slavery. By the Treaty of Utrecht 
she had obtained the exclusive right for thirty years of 
selling African slaves to the Spanish West Indies and the 
coast of America. The negro trade on the coast of Af- 
rica was regarded as the chief and fundamental support 
of the British colonies and plantations. It is, therefore, 
not to be wondered at that these governors " should frown 
upon legislation in the colonies so utterly inconsistent 
with the interests of British commerce, or that the modest 
efforts of Massachusetts in 1774 should be met by Hutch- 
inson and Gage with the same spirit which, in 1775, dic- 
tated the reply of the Earl of Dartmouth to the earnest 
remonstrance of the agent of Jamaica against the policy 
of the government. . i We can not allow the colonies to 
check or discourage in any manner a traffic so beneficial 
to the nation.' " 

Though thwarted thus in Massachusetts, anti-slavery 
Action of Massa- opinions were steadily gaining ground. They 
ReTo e £tionS gthe gathered force from the opposition of the 
British governors. As just mentioned, the 
Continental Association, in 1774, unanimously made pro- 
vision for the discontinuance of the slave-trade. The 
Continental Congress, 1776, resolved that no slave should 
be imported into any of the thirteen United Colonies. 
The conscience of Massachusetts was touched. The Com- 
mittee of Safety in 1775 passed a resolution "that it is 
the opinion of this committee, as the contest now between 
Great Britain and the colonies respects the liberties and 
privileges of the latter, which the colonies are determined 


to maintain, that the admission of any persons into the 
army now raising, but only such as are freemen, will be 
inconsistent with the principles that are to be supported, 
and reflect dishonor on this colony, and that no slaves be 
admitted into this army upon any consideration what- 

It so happened that shortly afterward (1776) two ne- 
gro men, taken prisoners at sea, were advertised to be 
sold by public auction at Salem. Indignation and sym- 
pathy were aroused. A resolution was offered in the 
Massachusetts House of Representatives to the effect that 
"the selling and enslaving of the human species is a direct 
violation of the natural rights, alike vested in all men by 
their Creator, and utterly inconsistent with the avowed 
principles on which this and the other United States have 
carried their struggle for liberty even to the last appeal, 
and that therefore all persons connected with the said 
negroes be, and they are hereby forbidden to sell them," 
etc. It is to be remarked that the resolution eventually 
passed omitted the foregoing general declaration of anti- 
slavery principles, and simply forbade the sale of the two 
men. Abolition in Massachusetts was still only in an in- 
cipient state. 

Doubtless the spirit of the insurgent colonists writhed 
under the taunts and contemptuous jeers of the Tory Loy- 
alists : " Negro slaves in Boston ! It can not be ! It is 
nevertheless very true ; for, though the Bostonians have 
grounded their rebellions on the ' immutable laws of Na- 
ture,' and have resolved, in their town-meetings, that i it 
is the first principle in civil society, founded in Nature 
and reason, that no law of society can be binding on any 
individual without his consent, given by himself in per- 
son or by his representative, of his own free election, yet, 
notwithstanding the immutable laws of Nature, and this 
public resolution of their own in their town-meetings, 


they actually have in town two thousand negro slaves, 
who, neither by themselves in person, nor by representa- 
tives of their own free election, ever gave consent to their 
present state of bondage." The effect of these sarcasms 
is seen in a preamble to a bill before the Massachusetts 
Legislature in 1777 for preventing the practice of hold- 
ing persons in slavery. It recites : " Whereas the prac- 
tice of holding Africans, and the children born of them, 
or any other person, in slavery is unjustifiable in a civil 
government at a time when they are asserting their natu- 
ral freedom," etc. But public opinion came very slowly 
to the correct stand-point. In the Constitution proposed 
for Massachusetts in 1778, the fifth article read, "Every 
male inhabitant of any town in this state, being free and 
twenty-one years of age, excepting negroes, Indians, and 
mulattoes, shall be entitled to vote for a representative," 
etc. The chaplain of both houses of the Legislature 
commented severely on this article. An idea may be 
formed of the spirit of the attack from such a passage as 
the following : " The complexion of that fifth article is 
blacker than that of any African, and, if not altered, will 
be an everlasting reproach upon the present inhabit- 
ants." For this he was summarily dismissed from his 

That Constitution was, however, rejected. It was not 
until the adoption of the state Constitution 

The Massachusetts /• ^-i-o/% jt « l iii i i 

constitution of of 1780 that slavery could be regarded as 

1780. , . J ° 

abolished in Massachusetts. The first Arti- 
cle of this Constitution being, 

" Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have 
certain natural, essential, and inalienable rights, among 
which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and de- 
fending their lives and liberties ; that of acquiring, pos- 
sessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seek- 
ing and obtaining their safety and happiness." 



[Sect. IV. 

The Duke de la Rochefoucault Liancourt gives the fol- 
lowing account of the termination of slaverv 

It indirectly abol- • -»*- i // v -* *»/-».* 

ishes slavery in m Massachusetts: "In 1781, some negroes, 

that state. m \ o ? 

prompted by private suggestion, maintained 
that they were not slaves. Their counsel pleaded, 1°. 
That no antecedent law had established slavery, and that 
the laws which seemed to suppose it were the offspring 
of error in the legislators, who had no authority to enact 
them ; 2°. That such laws, even if they had existed, were 
annulled by the new Constitution. They gained their 
cause under both aspects, and the solution of this first 
question that was brought forward set the negroes en- 
tirely at liberty, and, at the same time, precluded their 
pretended owners from all claim to indemnification, since 
they were proved to have possessed and held them in 
slavery without any right. As there were only a few 
slaves in Massachusetts, the decision passed without op- 
position, and banished all farther idea of slavery." 

In 1782 a petition was presented to the House of Rep- 
resentatives by Nathaniel Jennison, reciting that " he was 
deprived of ten negro servants by a judgment of the Su- 
preme Judicial Court on the following clause of the Con- 
stitution, that l all men are born free and equal.' " After 
setting forth his grievances, he quaintly adds, " What the 
true meaning of said clause in the Constitution is your 
memorialist will not undertake to say, but it appears to 
him that the operation 'thereof, in the manner aforemen- 
tioned, is very different from what the people apprehend- 
ed at the time the same was established." Jennison evi- 
dently was of opinion that slavery had been abolished in 
Massachusetts without the knowledge of the people, who 
were only now opening their eyes to the fact. 

In truth, slavery was imperceptibly extinguished in 
Massachusetts. A few years before his death, Mr. Web- 
ster was unable to determine when and in what manner 


it had ceased to exist. In 1836 Chief Jus- 

The extinction of . . <~n it «tt i i 1 , 

slavery is imper- tice onaw remarked, " Mow or by what act 
particularly slavery was abolished in Massa- 
chusetts, whether by the adoption of the opinion in Som- 
erset's case, as a declaration and modification of the com- 
mon law, or by the Declaration of Independence, or by 
the Constitution of 1780, it is not now very easy to de- 
termine ; and it is rather a matter of curiosity than util- 
ity, it being agreed on all hands that, if not abolished be- 
fore, it was so by the Declaration of Rights." 

I may here make the following extract from the last 
paragraph of Moore's Notes : " The reader can not fail to 
notice the strong resemblance in the mode of the extinc- 
tion of slavery in Massachusetts and that of villenage in 
England. Of the latter Lord Mansfield said in 1785 
that i villains in gross may, in point of law, subsist at this 
day, but the change of manners and customs has effect- 
ually abolished them in point of fact.' If the parallel 
may be continued, it could be said with equal justice that 
slavery, having never been formally prohibited by legis- 
lation in Massachusetts, continued ' to subsist in point of 
law' until the year 1866, when the grand Constitutional 
amendment terminated it forever throughout the limits 
of the United States." 

While internal state slavery was thus imperceptibly 
Resistance to the brought to its termination in Massachusetts, 
^rto?toSSevoiu^ the foreign slave-trade was more abruptly 
closed. There had never been wanting bit- 
ter opponents to it from the time when the early apostle, 
John Eliot, declared " to sell souls for money seemeth to 
me a dangerous merchandise." He had written to Boyle, 
the philosopher, in 1683, to obtain his intervention in be- 
half of some Indians who had been sold from New En- 
gland to Tangier. Judge Sewall, who had tried to pre- 


vent Indians and negroes being rated with horses and 
hogs, but could not prevail, published a tract in 1700, 
entitled " The Selling of Joseph," to point out the atroci- 
ties of the slave-trade, and quoting with emphasis Ex- 
odus xxi., 16, God hath said, " He that stealeth a man and 
selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, shall surely be 
put to death." He states the arguments of the advocates 
of the trade. They are the same that continued to be 
used to the middle of the nineteenth century. " 1st. 
Arguments in de- Blackamores are the posterity of Cham, and 

fense of that traffic. ^^^ are un( J er fl^ cm& Q f slayery> 2 d. 

the niggers are brought out of a pagan country into places 
where the Gospel is preached. 3d. The Africans have 
wars with one another ; our ships bring lawful captives 
taken in those wars. 4th. Abraham had servants bought 
with his money and born in his house." 

Thus sustained, the Guinea, or slave-trade, long contin- 
The slave-trade in ue( l m Massachusetts. We have, in Felt's 
" Salem," the instructions of a mercantile firm 
to the captain of one of their slave-ships in 1785, direct- 
ing him to make the best of his way to the coast of Af- 
rica, and invest his cargo in slaves. It shows him how 
to proceed in a critical inspection before paying for them. 
It instructs him what to do for the preservation of the 
health of his cargo, since on that the profits of the voyage 
depend, sagaciously observing that all other risks but the 
death of the slaves the underwriters are accountable for. 
He must beware of the factors on the * coast lest they 
cheat him, for, like the Israelites of old, they do whatever 
is right in their own eyes. His compensation, among 
other things, is to be four slaves out of every hundred, 
and four at the place of sale. His employers piously con- 
clude by commending him to the care of " the Almighty 
Disposer of all events." 

The prohibition of the slave-trade was at last effected 


prohibition of the m Massachusetts in 1788. A law was en- 
sachusVtt^Legfsia- acted that no citizen of the Commonwealth, 
or other person residing in the same, shall 
import, transport, buy or sell, any of the inhabitants of 
Africa as slaves or servants for a term of years, on penal- 
ty of fifty pounds for every person so misused, and two 
hundred pounds for every vessel fitted out or employed 
in the traffic. All insurance on such vessels to be void. 
That there were Massachusetts slave-ships at that time at 
sea is clear, for the act expressly exempts them. 

It is worthy of remark that in 1779 some South Caro- 
ls ute between l* na ne g roes > wno happened to be recaptured 
^utrSiina^n by a Massachusetts ship, gave rise to a con- 
SJiSS v tiifB^S£- troversy between the two states. The Leg- 
islature had voted them to be returned, but 
the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court had decided 
against their being given up. The Governor of South 
Carolina comments with much bitterness on the circum- 
stances, remarking that " it discloses a specimen of Puri- 
tanism I should not have expected from gentlemen of my 
profession." On many occasions the temper of the South 
was carefully considered. Thus, in the debates that took 
place in 1779 in the Convention, it was affirmed, "By 
erasing this clause out of our Constitution we shall great- 
ly offend and alarm the Southern States." Jennison, 
above referred to, in his memorial, argues that it could 
never have been the intention of the framers of the Mas- 
sachusetts Constitution to offend the Southern States in 
so capital a point with them, and thereby endanger the 

The development of anti-slavery ideas in Massachusetts 
thus presents a very instructive history. 

Anti-slavery ideas p^,, . -, . . «. m ■% 

are not of Puritan Those ideas were not, as is often affirmed, 
the offspring of Puritanism ; on the contrary, 
they forced their way in spite of it. The New England 
I.— X 


Puritan saw nothing wrong in the exportation of Indian 
prisoners of war, the buying of Africans, the retention 
in slavery of American-born children of color. A man 
of texts, he could wrest portions of Scripture to his jus- 
tification in this, as also in the burning of witches and 
the hanging of Quakers. He never rose to the concep- 
tion that his conduct should be guided by the spirit of 
benevolence of the whole Bible, not by the letter of iso- 
lated or fragmentary passages. There is a period in the 
life of a nation when it is ashamed of the opinions hand- 
ed down to it. That period had been reached in Massa- 
chusetts. It magnified its Puritan ancestors, but it de- 
clined to follow their precepts. In history we see that 
one cycle of ideas succeeds another ; some are going to 
their culmination, and some are in their wane, passing 
away never more to return. A living government recog- 
nizes the true and rising ideas, and places itself at their 
head. On that principle Massachusetts acted. 

In the progress of a new idea three things are concern- 
ed — the argument on which it is based, the 

Manner in which -,. .-. , i • i • , • ,i 

ideas force their medium through which it is seen, the inter- 

way. , ... 

est of him who is considering it. In the case 
of slavery in Massachusetts, the interest in its behalf was 
never very important. At an early date it was ascertain- 
ed that that form of labor was unprofitable, and the num- 
ber of slaves was at the most insignificant. The long re- 
sistance to its suppression was due to the distorting and 
murky medium through which the argument destined at 
last to overthrow it was viewed. In New England, as in 
Great Britain and France, it was not by ecclesiastics, as 
perhaps might have been expected, that the truth was 
first clearly discerned. As the fog of Puritan fanaticism 
lifted from the air, first one and then another of the men 
of education and men of business caught a clear view, 
and thus it was not incorrectly said that slavery came to 


its end by imperceptible degrees through " advancing pub- 
lic sentiment" and " the temper of the times." 

We have seen that the Massachusetts Legislature, at 
quite a late period, refused to commit itself to the expres- 
sion of anti-slavery sentiment, and that, in point of fact, it 
never acted efficiently in the matter. Deliverance for the 
slave was gained, not by the enactment, but by the inter- 
pretation of law. In this there was an illustration of the 
remark respecting the Romans, who were the first to dis- 
cover that the power of interpreting the laws is often of 
more value than that of making them. Where there is 
any thing approaching a general or universal suffrage, 
Legislatures are unwilling to take the initiative in great 
reforms ; they do not lead, but follow public sentiment. 

The arguments in behalf of resistance to the mother 
_ . . . _ country, and the arguments in behalf of 

The American Rev- <J 7 O 

protest igSn^lf- slavery, when presented together, were man- 
rican slavery. ifestly incompatible. The African was serv- 
ing in the Revolutionary armies, and hence might justly 
claim, as he did, a part of the benefit for which he was 
shedding his blood. His master's cause and his cause 
were alike. There can be no doubt that considerations 
of this kind exerted very great influence ; and to this not 
a little feeling was added from the fact that the English 
governors, guided by the general principles of the royal 
policy, resisted all attempts at abolition on the part of 
the dissatisfied colonists. 

In England, as in America, hostility to African slavery 

first decisively manifested itself among edu- 

Soms^f^En- 1 " cated persons and statesmen. The slave- 

fland. Lord Mans- . -, i j i i , n -r» t 

eid's somerset de- trade was regulated by act of Jrarliament so 

cision. _ 1 Wor> T 1 

lately as 1788. It was through the agency 
of Granville Sharp, who may be regarded as the precur- 
sor of the Abolitionists, that Lord Mansfield's decision in 



the Somerset case was obtained — that decision being to 
the effect that the master of a slave could not compel him 
to go out of the kingdom. Active abolition movements 
soon commenced among the English Quakers ; they gath- 
ered strength under the leadership of Clarkson and Wil- 
berforce. Attempts were repeatedly made from 1785 to 
1807 to secure parliamentary action. It was 
abolished by Par- not, however, until the latter vear that thev 

liament. 7 ' -i-i-i t 

proved successful, and the slave-trade was 

That point gained, Clarkson, Wilberforce, and Buxton 
commenced an agitation against the exist- 

The Abolitionists p , . -. -, . mi 

attack slavery in ence oi slavery m the colonies. Ine move- 

the colonies, /» n • i i i 

ment was powerfully aided by a pamphlet 
published by Elizabeth Heyrick, a Quaker lady, advo- 
cating immediate instead of gradual emancipation. At 
length, in 1833, the Abolitionists carried their point; the 
And in 1834 succeed owners of slaves received as compensation 
in their attempt, twenty millions sterling from the national 
treasury, and on August 1st, 18 34, the slaves were set free. 

France had preceded England in this great moral move- 
ment, but not with such noble equity. Her National As- 
sembly in 1791 abolished slavery throughout the French 

Geologists observe that extinct animals are never rein- 
troduced and never reappear. They have passed away 
because they have become incompatible with the prog- 
ress of Nature. So, likewise, a political institution that 
has failed to maintain itself against the progress of pub- 
lic intelligence must pass away, and can never again be 

In the United States, at the epoch of the Eevolution, 
there were, as we have said, both in the North and South, 
conscientious convictions against the morality of African 


slavery; in many instances they were strengthened by 
considerations having reference to the policy and actions 
of the English government. There was also an influen- 
tial and rising party favoring the opposite views. The 
incidents connected with the celebrated passage struck 
out of Mr. Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of 
Independence illustrate, in a significant manner, the posi- 
tion of things. He had written, referring to the king : 
" Determined to keep open a market where men should 
be bought and sold, he has prostituted his 

The paragraph ex- o * ± 

D U ecfa e rit?oTof h in- negative for suppressing every legislative at- 
dependence. tempt to prohibit or to restrain this execra- 

ble commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors 
might want no fact of distinguished dye, he is now ex- 
citing those very people to rise in arms against us, and 
purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them by 
murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them, 
thus paying off former crimes committed against the lib- 
erties of one people with crimes which he urges them to 
commit against the lives of another." 

As mentioned (p. 189), Mr. Jefferson states that this 
clause was removed not only out of complaisance to South 
Carolina and Georgia, but also as a concession to the feel- 
ings of " our Northern brethren." 

At this time it is probable that of three millions of 

people, inhabitants of the colonies, nearly 

at the epoch of the half a million were slaves. The exact num- 


ber and their distribution can not now be 
accurately determined. The census of 1790 furnishes the 
following table, which can be received, however, only as 
an approximation. 



[Sect. IV. 

Distribution of Slaves in 1790. 

Northern States. 

Southern States. 

New Hampshire . . 158 

Delaware 8,887 

Vermont . . . 


Maryland . . 

. 103,036 

Rhode Island 


Virginia . . 

. 293,427 

Connecticut . 

. 2,759 

North Carolina 

, 100,572 



South Carolina . 


New York . 

. 21,324 

Georgia . . 


New Jersey . 

, 11,423 

Kentucky . . 



. 3,737 

Tennessee . . 


Total . . 

. 40,370 

Total . . 


Mr. Jefferson's disapproval and distrust of slavery is 
again seen in his attempt to exclude it after the year 
1800 from the Northwest Territory. The fifth article of 
the ordinance of 1784 was, however, stricken 

ti£ent n aicongress " out ; Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina 

respecting slavery . , . l KT ±1 n V 

in the Northwest voting against it, and JN ortn Carolina giving 

Territory. t »-i i nn • /» • 

a divided vote. There were six states for it 
and three against it. 

In the ordinance passed for the government of that 
Territory three years subsequently is the following arti- 
cle : 

" There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi- 
tude in the said Territory otherwise than as a punish- 
ment of crime, whereof the parties shall have been duly 

This is what is known as Dane's restriction, Mr. Dane, 
of Massachusetts, being chairman of the committee which 
reported it. A fugitive slave proviso was added to it, 
and in that form it received the unanimous vote of the 
states, every Southern and every Northern member voting 
for it. 

There can be no doubt that a majority of the framers 
of the Constitution looked upon slavery as an evil to be 
abated. The various provisions in its favor eventually 


.■ _ .. in that document were not in it origin- 
Action during the m © 

c°oStituSo°n f Je- e a lty> but were grafted upon it as compro- 
specting slavery. m [ seSt S ou th Carolina and Georgia were the 

chief champions in its behalf. Profitable abuses are nev- 
er quietly given up. Virginia, in which nearly half the 
existing slave population was to be found, desired the 
prohibition of the trade, because, as her rivals affirmed, 
her own necessities being satisfied, she considered that 
the intrinsic value of her slave property would diminish 
if the other states were permitted to continue importation. 

The proposition originally submitted to the Conven- 
tion by its committee of five, who were respectively from 
South Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
Pennsylvania, was thus expressed : 

" No tax shall be laid by Congress on the migration or 
importation of such persons as the several states shall 
think proper to admit, nor shall such migration or impor- 
tation be prohibited." 

This proposition was subsequently modified by a spe- 
cial committee, consisting of one member from each state ; 
it then read : 

" The migration or importation of such persons as the 
several states now existing shall think proper to admit 
shall not be prohibited (by Congress) prior to the year 
1800 ; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such migra- 
tion or importation, at a rate not exceeding the average 
of the duties laid on imports." 

The provision finally inserted in the Constitution was, 
" The migration or importation of such per- 

The slave-trade not « . n . . ... i -n 

to be abolished be- sons as anv 01 the states now existing: shall 

fore 1808. i.T -I'-i-n -ii«i 

think proper to admit, shall not be prohib- 
ited by the Congress prior to the year 1808, but a tax or 
duty may be imposed on such importation not exceeding 
ten dollars." 

While thus it was agreed that the African slave-trade 


should be brought to an end in 1808, the use of the word 
slave was carefully avoided, and the awakened conscience 
of the Convention, bearing in mind the fundamental arti- 
cle of the Declaration of Independence, satisfied itself with 
a circumlocutory phrase. 

The scruples of the North were thus satisfied by the 
proposed stoppage of the trade at the end of twenty 
years, and, after the insertion of the fugitive slave clause, 
the wishes of even South Carolina were so completely 
met that she ratified the Constitution by a vote of 149 
to 73. The sentiments of the different states very dis- 
tinctly appear in the discussions which took place. Mr. 
Pinckney declared that South Carolina would never 
adopt the Constitution if it prohibited the slave-trade. 
Mr. Rutledge, of that state, affirmed that religion and hu- 
manity have nothing whatever to do with the question ; 
that interest alone is the governing principle of nations. 
The delegates from South Carolina and Georgia declared 
that these states could not do without slaves. They con- 
sidered that a stoppage of the trade was equivalent to an 
exclusion of those states from the Union : they declared 
that they had no intention of ceasing their importations 
in any short time. On the other hand, the Virginians 
desired to give the general government power to prevent 
the increase of slavery, and Mr. Sherman, of Connecticut, 
avowed that it was better to let the Southern States im- 
port slaves, if they made that a sine qua non, than part 
with them. 

North Carolina, immediately after her ratification of 
„ a . . . the Constitution, ceded what is now the 

Condition imposed ' . 

ln 7 tKe 1 sSSn ?f ia State of Tennessee on condition that Con- 
SSrSoS of gress should make no regulation tending to 
emancipate slaves in it. Georgia did the 
same as respects the cession of Alabama and Mississippi, 
and thus it became impossible to carry out Jefferson's 
prohibitive policy of 1784. 


The New England Anti- slavery Society was founded 
_ . M . v t , in Boston in 1832. By this time the shift- 

Estabhshment of ^ 

AntiSrv^ry g so" d m g sands of public opinion on the slavery 
question in Massachusetts had hardened into 
a rock. New York and other large cities soon after fol- 
lowed that example. This movement was apparently 
the offspring of the anti-slavery excitement simultaneous- 
ly occurring in England. It was not confined to the 
Northern States, but was perceptible in the South. Even 
Virginia at that time contemplated emancipation without 
disfavor, and dreamed of colonization. Movements were 
made in her Legislature having the former object in view. 
The great interests of the state soon, however, outweighed 
all philanthropical considerations, and the 

Anti-slavery inten- .. o/i • i i • i • ,i • i 

tions m Virginia entire feoutn, quickly appreciating: the social 

are arrested. -...,. . . 

result, joined in a common opposition. An 
ill-timed intermeddling of agents from England added 
resentment to that opposition. Without difficulty the 
slaveholding population was persuaded that these were, 
in reality, the emissaries of a foreign government, which, 
having brought its West India colonies into a condition 
of great peril, was bent on reducing its neighbors to the 
same state. 

But, though the tide of anti-slavery sentiment was thus 
_ _ _ . , arrested in the South, very different was it 

The New England " J 

a^a p n?iXv?i e y n agi- in tne New England States. In them there 
were no great interests to oppose it. As had 
been the case in England, all the machinery for political 
agitation which in late times has been brought to perfec- 
tion was set in play, and through the pulpit, the press, 
societies, lectures, and innumerable other agencies, an in- 
cessant attack was kept up. To such an extent was the 
Post-office burdened with anti-slavery newspapers, pamph- 
lets, letters, engravings, that President Jackson, in his an- 
nual message (1835), was constrained to call the atten- 


tion of Congress to the subject. A bill was brought into 
the Senate for the correction of the evil, but it was nega- 
tived through the votes of the New England senators. 
Fanaticism at the North was met by fanaticism at the 
South ; and wmile one party denounced slavery as " the 
sum of all villainies," the other lauded it as the greatest 
of social blessings, consecrated by antiquity, and author- 
ized by the Bible. 

Under such circumstances, it was not possible but that 
resistance should be made to the operation 

The Fugitive Slave n , -ri • ; • cm t n -. u. 

Law w practically oi the _b ugitive blave Law of 1793, passed 
under the administration of Washington. 
The Supreme Court of the United States having decided 
(1842) that it was the business of the federal, and not of 
the state magistrates, to carry that law into effect, an agi- 
tation, intended to nullify it practically, was commenced. 
Several of the Legislatures prohibited their magistrates 
from executing it, the use of the jails for the safe-keeping 
of fugitives was denied, personal-liberty bills were passed, 
and the act became practically a dead letter. The small 
body of dissatisfied or disappointed poli- 
udlns°take r ?dvanl ticians in the South, who had for several 

tage of these events . -, . -• . n .-. XT . 

to inflame the peo- years past desired a rupture ot the Union, 
took advantage of these events to promote 
their schemes, and in this they were very powerfully aided 
by the agitation that shortly arose (1846) respecting the 
Wilmot Proviso, the intention of which was to prevent 
the spread of slavery in the Territories. The quarrel was, 
however, for a time composed by the adoption of Mr. 
Clay's compromise measures in 1850, but only to break 
out again with increased violence four years subsequently, 
on the occasion of the repeal of the Missouri Com- 

The Missouri Compromise, accepted in 1820 as an ar- 
rangement between the free and the slave states, had 

Chap.XVIL] colonization. 331 

thus lasted for thirty-four years. Its repeal was occa- 
sioned by the movements for establishing a territorial 
government in Nebraska. It was considered as being 
inconsistent with the doctrine of non-intervention by 
Congress with slavery in the states and territories estab- 
lished by the compromise of 1850. Induced by considera- 
tions of which events have shown the impolicy, every 
violent conflicts Southern senator voted for the repeal. A 
arise in congress. v j ] en ^ an( j une qual conflict at once ensued 

between the free and the slave parties for the possession 
of Kansas. President Buchanan threw the weight of his 
official influence with the latter, and, in consequence, Con- 
gress became the arena of violent debates. 

Anti-slavery operations in the United States assumed 
two forms — colonization and abolition. 

The two forms of a /» • i • j • • • j i • j t , i 

anti-siavery opera- African colonization originated with the 

tions. . ° 

Rev. Dr. Hopkins previously to the Revolu- 
tion. His intention was, by the settlement of emanci- 
pated blacks on the Coast of Africa, to accomplish the 
suppression of the slave-trade. The intervention of the 
Revolution checked his movements, but he renewed them 
at the end of the war. Three missionaries were sent out 
by him, but the plan was carried out in an inadequate 
and desultory manner. It was not until 1815 that about 
The colonization fort y black emigrants went to Sierra Leone, 

scheme, its failure. an( J ' n ^ nex £ y ear ^ C l on i za ti n Society 

was established. An abortive attempt was made four 
years subsequently at Sherbro Island, but in 1821 the 
more fortunate establishment of the settlement at Mon- 
rovia, destined eventually to become the Republic of 
Liberia, was commenced. In the course of forty years 
about nine thousand black emigrants were sent over. 
The colonization movement can not, however, be consider- 
ed as having fulfilled the hopes of its advocates. It has 

332 LUNDY. [Sect. IV. 

accomplished little for the suppression of the slave-trade, 
and had still less influence on American domestic slavery. 
It found favor in the South chiefly from the circumstance 
that it afforded a means for the removal of free negroes. 
Even that recommendation eventually failed when the 
states commenced the re-enslavement of that emancipated 

Abolitionism has had a different result. The first 
The first Abolition Abolition Society was founded, as has been 
society. mentioned, in Pennsylvania, in 1774. The 

president was Dr. Franklin. Other similar societies were 
afterwards established in New York, Rhode Island, Mary- 
land, Connecticut, etc. 

A great principle spreads most rapidly when it en- 
gages the enthusiasm of an individual man. 

Narrative of the © o 

Be nj e amS g Lun f dy f Abolition in America received an impetus 
the Abolitionist.' from the devotion of a Quaker, Benjamin 

Lundy, who was born in New Jersey about 1789. In 
early life he migrated to Virginia, and, aroused by the 
enormities he witnessed in the slave system, dedicated his 
life to its destruction. A harness-maker or saddler by 
trade, he removed to Ohio, and there, in 1815, organized 
what he called a humane society ; it was, in fact, an anti- 
slavery association. Its first meetings numbered only 
half a dozen persons, but shortly they increased to sever- 
al hundreds. He next entered upon a newspaper enter- 
prise ; the title of the journal, " The Philanthropist," indi- 
cates its character. His journalism and his harness-mak- 
ing, as might have been anticipated, proved incompatible, 
and he lost all he possessed. 

In 1821 he commenced a monthly publication, " The 
Genius of Universal Emancipation ;" learned the trade of 
printing, and traveled about in various directions, propa- 
gating his views. These journeys he made for the most 
part on foot. Thus he walked about 400 miles in Ten- 

Chap. XVII. ] LUND Y. 333 

nessee, 600 in Pennsylvania, and eventually transferred 
his " Genius" to Baltimore, carrying what he had in a 
knapsack on his back. In these migrations he delivered 
addresses wherever he could collect an audience, receiving 
encouragement from the Quakers as he passed along. 
He went in 1825 to Hayti, on an expedition connected 
with the removal of slaves, and on his return found his 
wife dead, and his children distributed among his friends. 
Undeterred by such calamities, which apparently only in- 
creased his zeal, he journeyed to New York and Boston, 
and even as far east as Maine, delivering addresses in the 
various large towns. Again he went back to Hayti on a 
colonization expedition, and on his return was nearly 
killed by a negro-trader in Baltimore, on whose avoca- 
tion he had made some unpalatable remarks. Next he 
went through Texas into Mexico, on a scheme for found- 
ing a free-negro colony, supporting himself by harness- 
mending. He then removed his "Genius" from Balti- 
more to Washington, and thence again to Philadelphia, 
where at length it took the name of " The Pennsylvania 
Freeman." With a view of inquiring into the condition 
of fugitive negroes he went to Canada, and his property 
and papers having been burnt in a riot in Philadelphia, 
he eventually removed to Illinois, recommenced issuing 
his " Genius," and died in 1839. 

While Lundy was in Boston he became acquainted 
wmiam Lioyd Gar- wr ^h William Lloyd Garrison, who had al- 
£if to tt^cauee 1 ?/ ready entered on a similar path, editing suc- 
Abontion. cessively "The Free Press," "The National 

Philanthropist," and an anti-slavery newspaper, "The 
Journal of the Times." He joined Lundy in the publica- 
tion of the " Genius" while it was at Baltimore, and, hav- 
ing given offense to some of the slave-traders of the city 
by his publications, was fined and committed to jail. He 
remained in prison about seven weeks, his fine then being 


paid by Mr. Arthur Tappan, a merchant of New York. 
In 1830 he established "The Liberator" in Boston, con- 
ducting it on the principle of war to the knife with slav- 
ery. It played an able and conspicuous part in the Abo- 
lition cause. 

The agitation carried on by these unwearied men soon 
began to produce results. The Governor of Georgia of- 
fered a reward of $5000 for the arrest of Mr. Garrison, 
but that only served to bring him more prominently into 
notice, and to give friends to his cause. The mails to the 
Southern States were filled with anti-slavery publications. 
Attempts were now made in the Slave States 

Resistance encoun- , . -. , . . . 

tered by the Aboii- to repress the Abolition movement going on 

tionists. . o o 

in the North, and to these some of the North- 
ern governors lent their influence. Riots took place in 
New York, Philadelphia, and other towns ; churches were 
attacked, and houses of Abolitionists and colored people 
destroyed. In New Hampshire, a preacher, who was en- 
gaged in prayer at an anti-slavery meeting, was arrested 
as " a common rioter and brawler." In Boston itself, a 
mob, described as " most respectable," seized Mr. Garrison, 
dragged him through the streets with a rope round his 
body, and threatened to tar and feather him. The South- 
ern newspapers raised a clamor for the instant death of 
every Abolitionist who could be caught. Let them, said 
the New Orleans papers, " expiate the crime of interfering 
with our domestic institutions by being burned at the 
stake." " Let an Abolitionist (one of the most eminent 
men in South Carolina declared) come within our bor- 
ders, and, notwithstanding all the interference of all the 
governments of the earth, including the federal govern- 
ment, we will hang him." In Charleston 
themaixtnelo°a f st- (1835) the mails were seized and searched. 
anti the murder of Whatever objectionable matter they contain- 

Lovejoy. ° 

ed was burnt; the Postmaster General de- 


claring that though he could not sanction, he would not 
condemn that step. At Alton, in Illinois, Elijah P. Love- 
joy, the editor of an Abolition paper whose press had 
been repeatedly destroyed, was murdered by a mob 
(1837) ; he received five balls in his breast. Another 
mob in St. Louis roasted a mulatto to death over a slow 

In 1835 South Carolina passed a law whereby every 

colored person found on board any vessel 

priBons ! Sred im " entering her ports was to be seized and 

persons found on ,-. ,. .., <«ijt it tit 

ships entering her lodged in mil until the vessel should be 

ports. & ** 

cleared for departure, when he should be re- 
stored to his vessel on payment of the legal costs, and 
charges incurred for his subsistence. 

This act chiefly affected colored sailors, coots, etc., of 
Northern vessels ; and, in view of the provision of the 
Federal Constitution, that " the citizens of each state shall 
be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens 
in the several states," Massachusetts resolved (1844) on 
testing its constitutionality. Her governor, therefore, di- 
rected Samuel Hoar, a venerable citizen, to 

The mission of ' % m 7 

feTthekgaVtyof proceed to Charleston and institute the nec- 
those proceedings. essai y l e g a l proceedings. The Legislature 

of South Carolina, happening to be in session at the time 
of his arrival, passed resolutions directing the governor to 
expel him from the state. He was accordingly constrain- 
ed to leave the city. 

The incidents mentioned in the preceding paragraphs 
are sufficient to show that at this epoch the contest be- 
tween the Abolitionists on one side and the slaveholders 
on the other had become a mortal duel. Petitions began 
to pour into Congress for the abolition of the slave-trade 
in the District of Columbia, an active and increasing traffic 
of that kind having gradually been established in Wash- 
ington City. At first these petitions had been received 


without special remark ; but, as the Abolition excitement 
grew more intense in the North, they met 
^iVtocragress with resistance from the members of the 
ceived by°th e at ie " slaveholding states. Mr. Calhoun denounced 
some of them as gross, false, and malicious 
slanders on eleven of the states. He affirmed that Con- 
gress had no more jurisdiction over slavery in the District 
than it had in the State of South Carolina. Eventually 
it was resolved " that no petition, memorial, resolution, or 
other paper praying for the abolition of slavery in the 
District of Columbia, or any state or Territory, or the 
slave-trade between the states or Territories of the United 
States, in which it now exists, shall be received by this 
House, or entertained in any way whatever." 

While these unhappy controversies were in progress, 
fuel was added to the flame by the decision 

Exasperation aris- /»,-io r^ , • ,i <* t\ i 

ing in the Free oi the supreme Court m the case 01 Dred 

States from the ,.,. -, -, . , 

Dred scott ded- fecott, which, it was asserted, denied to the 

sion. > i # j 

African race the ordinary rights of human 
beings. It moreover authorized the slaveholder to take 
his negroes into the Territories, and hold them there, not- 
withstanding all conflicting Congressional or territorial 
legislation, until the Territories should be prepared to as- 
sume the position of states. The Anti-slavery party, 

which had absorbed all the minor political 

Rapid development . .. t* ji fiy oil iiii 

of the Republican organizations oi the rree fetates, and had be- 
come consolidated as " the Republican par- 
ty," at once denounced this decision. Even of the Demo- 
cratic party a very important portion pursued the same 
course — the Douglas Democracy, whose principle was 
that of squatter sovereignty, or the right of the first set- 
tlers to determine the future of a state. 

In the South the secession leaders took advantage of 
this state of affairs to draw many slaveholders to their 
views. In the North the Republicans, daily increasing 


in numbers and power, and tempted by the obvious di- 
vision of their antagonist, the Democratic party, extended 
the sphere of their operations, and now aspired to the 
suppression of slavery in the states themselves. 

Among the plans for accomplishing that result was 
„ V1 . , one which depended on calling into action 

Publication of 1 

SgcrSs^raid the " poor white," or non-slaveholding popu- 
f John Brown, ktion of the goutL A work? entitled " The 

Impending Crisis," was published by Mr. Helper, a North 
Carolinian. His principles were, " Never another vote 
for a slavery advocate ; no co-operation with slavery in 
politics ; no fellowship in religion ; no affiliation in soci- 
ety; no patronage to pro-slavery merchants; no guest- 
ship in a slave- waiting hotel ; no fee to a pro-slavery law- 
yer; none to a pro-slavery physician; no audience to a 
pro-slavery parson ; no subscription to a pro-slavery news- 
paper ; no hiring of a slave, but the utmost encourage- 
ment of free white labor." He adds, " We have determ- 
ined to abolish slavery, and, so help us God, abolish it we 
will. If by any means you do succeed in your treason- 
able attempts to take the South out of the Union to-day, 
we will bring her back to-morrow. If she goes away 
with you, she will return without you." 

Of this book, which was written with considerable 
ability, at the recommendation of sixty-eight Republican 
members of Congress, editions of many thousand copies 
were published, and disseminated in all directions. It 
excited the South to frenzy. The raid of John Brown, 
for the purpose of producing a slave-insurrection in Vir- 
ginia, increased the angry feeling, especially when it was 
known that, upon his execution, he was accepted as a 
martyr all over the Free North. 

Such was the condition of things at the meeting of the 
Charleston Convention (1860). The South had at last 
recognized that it could no longer depend on its old ally, 
L— Y 


the Democratic party of the North, which had been dis- 
organized in consequence of the illogical po- 

Disintegration of . . .. . , . , -, , . , 

the Democratic sition which it had been attempting so long 

party. . 

to sustain. No human ingenuity could co- 
ordinate the doctrine of the equal rights of man in the 
North with the doctrine of human slavery in the South. 
The day must inevitably come in which that great party 
would have to accept the consequences of such a contra- 
diction. The South saw this, and appreciated at once 
that henceforth it must rely on itself. The decomposi- 
tion of the Democracy, the triumph of the Kepublicans, 
the election of Mr. Lincoln, and the secession of the Cot- 
ton States were the results. 



The extinction of slavery by persuasion or argument is hopeless when there are 
great interests upholding it, and the medium through which it is considered is 

The social disasters and ruin attending its forcible extinction are illustrated by the 
events ensuing on the partial abolition which took place in England at the Nor- 
man Conquest. 

In national controversies, such as that between the 
South and the North, each party may conscientiously feel 
that it is right, and that its antagonist is blinded by in- 
terest or deluded by fanaticism. Both may forget that 
the majority of men do not reason at all, but simply ac- 
quiesce in what they hear, or simply reject it, insensibly 
biased by interest, education, or associations. 

The South and the North had each its own point of 
view, and saw things through an atmosphere 

Difference in the «.. -n i i i • i • l • t 

views of the North ot its own. HiSLch. had its social maxims and 

and South. . . . 

social interests, and m these respects each 
differed from the other ; nor was it possible for them to 
occupy the same point of view, and therefore not possible 
to have a sameness of opinion. The Northern States 
could not adopt the mode of thought of the slaveholder, 
nor appreciate the bias of his imagination. The South- 
ern States could see nothing except through the glass of 
slavery. In this they resembled the daughters of Phor- 
cus, who had but one eye among them all, and used it 
one after another in common. 

Acted upon by the climate influences of the zone in 


which they live, the population of the South were fast 
losing the capability of vividly appreciating European 
modes of •thought. Their higher classes constituted a 
sub-tropical aristocracy, resembling that existing among 
the people of the southern verge of the Mediterranean, 
and the historic nations of Asia (page 114). They had 
already attained to such a point that they could no lon- 
ger perceive the immorality of slavery, and were rapidly 
becoming more and more unable to understand the Teu- 
tonism of the North. 

It has been already remarked that in the propagation 
of an opinion three things are concerned: 

Three conditions in _, . r™ . -i • i ii • • , 

the propagation of 1st. ine argument on which the opinion rests; 
2d. The medium or intellectual atmosphere 

through which it is contemplated ; 3d. The predisposition 

of the person to whom it is addressed. 

He who looks at the landscape through a painted win- 
dow sees strange modifications of color, and 

Influence of the o / 

wwih?deas°a u rl h alterations of the true order of light and 
viewed. shade. Hence, remembering how much our 

ideas are tinctured by the intellectual atmosphere in 
which we live, we may learn to make allowance for the 
contradictory sentiments of others. Suspecting that, on 
many occasions, we accept for a reality what may be only 
an illusion, we should become tolerant, and learn to ad- 
mit that there may be honest convictions in an antago- 
nist, and innocence in what seems to us to be error. 

Constituted as human society is, the intrinsic truth of 
an opinion is by no means enough to secure its adoption, 
but, on the contrary, has quite commonly an insignificant 
influence, the medium through which the opinion is seen, 
and the predisposition in which it is contemplated being 
of greater importance. 

It is the physiological operation of a hot climate to 
produce languor and an indisposition for bodily exertion. 

Chap.XVIIL] abolition BY PERSUASION. 341 

Whoever has the opportunity of so doing; 

Application of x ± J o 

thfSe^fAmeri 1 - will seek to compel those less fortunate than 
can slavery, himself to minister to his wants, and hence 
such a climate must tend to be a region of forced labor. 
This tendency depends upon temperature; it increases 
with the heat. From a physical cause there thus arises 
an individual predisposition; and since that individual 
predisposition is participated in by every member of such 
a community, an intellectual atmosphere, as it may be 
termed, is produced, through which all social problems 
must be seen. A belief in the lawfulness of slavery is 
thus not the result of reason — for slavery is utterly inde- 
fensible ; it is a delusion of the intellectual atmosphere of 
a slaveholding society. 

To overthrow a social system believed to be right is 
therefore no easy affair. It can not be done by argu- 
ment alone. Argument weighs little against social in- 
fluences or personal interests. Men do not concern them- 
selves to ascertain what is abstractly true ; they are satis- 
fied with what they think is passing currently for truth. 
The social repudiation of error is hence, of slow progress. 
It commonly takes place by almost imperceptible de- 

Condemned by modern civilization and by political 
which mnstneces- economy, but favored by a hot climate, slave- 
sariiy he intolerant. r ^ ^ ex i s ^ j n America, must perpetually 

struggle. It must resort to arbitrary means. It must 
brutalize the slave by compelling him to remain igno- 
rant. It must control discontent by terrorism. A sys- 
tem the basis of which can neither be intellectually nor 
politically defended, is necessarily compelled to be a sys- 
tem of persecution, intolerant of examination, and forcibly 
extinguishing dissent. Under such circumstances, com- 
munities justify acts against which the whole tenor of 
modern civilization protests. 


Climate tendencies facilitate the abolition of slavery in 
a cold country, but oppose it in one that 

Illustrations from . rry, . i • t 

villeinage in En- is warm, lne circumstances which accom- 


plished the extinction of villeinage in En- 
gland would not have had the same effect in the Gulf 
States of America. Yet the history of the decline of 
slavery in that country is not without lessons of interest 
and of ominous warning. I shall therefore, with my 
reader's consent, devote a few pages to a reminiscence of 
the Norman Invasion. It illustrates the suffering and 
ruin that must attend even a partial suppression of a 
slave system by force. 

At the time of the Norman Conquest the Anglo-Saxon 
Extent of slavery population amounted to two millions. At 
^i?w^afses of one period three fourths of that population 

its extinction. • . . i? •n • i ±_ ±_ l j_ t 

were in a state 01 villeinage, but that condi- 
tion was gradually brought to an end through the oper- 
ation of three causes: 1st. The law enacted by the Wite- 
na- gemot in the reign of King Alfred, that if any one 
bought a Christian slave, the time of servitude should 
not exceed six years, and on the seventh the slave should 
go free. The effect of this was to make the sale of 
slaves difficult, and an ascertained means of emancipation 
was provided by law. 2d. The Danish and Norman in- 
vasions, and subsequently the Civil Wars, by destroying 
so many of the chief proprietors, gave efficacy to the law 
that if a slave was not claimed by his master in a limited 
time, he should be considered as free. 3d. The example 
of monastic institutions, and this I believe was, in fact, 
more important than the other two. 

The invasion of England by William the Conqueror 
was not like the predatory excursions of for- 

Circumstances of /» • -\ , T] . .., 

the Norman con- mer foreign adventurers, it was not witn- 

quest. ° 

out a color of right. Founding his claim 
upon the nomination of his kinsman, Edward the Con- 


fessor, and strengthened by the renunciation of his com- 
petitor Harold, sworn upon the altar, the army he brought 
into England was by no means equal to the forced sub- 
jugation of the country. It was not so much the victory 
of Hastings as the death of Harold that gave him suc- 
cess. From that bloody field, on which he had left more 
than ten thousand men, he doubtingly retired, sedulous 
to secure a safe line of retreat. 

Encouraged by the dissensions of his antagonists, per- 
haps also by treason, he saw at length that he might ven- 
ture to press forward and secure his prize. To bring 
those whom he had overthrown the more willingly to ac- 
cept his rule, he at first adopted a policy of 
?owa?d 1 the a con? ted conciliation. He laid aside the appearance 

quered people by /» . .. • j " n i it • i l 

wiliiam the con- oi animosity against all who had resisted 
him, with kingly munificence bestowing fa- 
vors on Harold's friends. He tried to conciliate the cler- 
gy by loading them with benefits. Declining the atti- 
tude of a conqueror, he desired to assume the position of 
an elected monarch. In Westminster Abbey the Arch- 
bishop of York demanded of the nobles and people as- 
sembled whether they would consent that he should be 
their king, and was answered with warm gratulations. 
To the chief towns, particularly to London, he accorded 
privileges ; forbade oppression of the Saxon people ; ap- 
pointed judges charged to administer strict justice ; re- 
paired ecclesiastical edifices that were going to ruin ; en- 
joined an observance of the offices of religion ; opened 
the ports to commerce ; gave encouragement to the mar- 
riage of his Normans with Saxons. It seemed that he 
was the choice of the nation, and that all resistance had 

Astute though he was, William, however, forgot that the 
leaders of a crushed revolt are not to be conciliated by 
favor. Their loyalty is measured by their fear. During 


„ - , .. . the ceremony of his coronation in Westmin- 

He finds it impossi- J 

ISehXdonhe ster Abbey the edifice was set on fire. The 
chiefs of revolt. crime wag lfli( j to ^ c h ar g e f ^ Norman 

soldiery, but it is difficult to see what interest they could 
have in periling the life of their leader. The assassina- 
tion of Saxons of eminence, who had affiliated with the 
invaders, and had made themselves obnoxious to the de- 
feated party, was followed by the assassination of Nor- 
mans. The king took alarm. He had already built for 
his personal security a fortification or tower in London ; 
he perceived that in like manner he must garrison all the 
large towns. Taking advantage of his temporary ab- 
sence in Normandy, the Saxon leaders began to conspire, 
intriguing with the King of Denmark for help. An in- 
surrection broke out in the north of England. William, 
a soldier from his childhood, put it down. The over- 
thrown barons fled to Scotland. Their partisans, dispers- 
ing over the country, plundered and abused their own 
people. A petty but fearful war of extermination en- 
sued. The Saxons took oaths of loyalty with the intention 
of breaking them. It was found that they could not be 
trusted. An inexorable fate oppressed both parties, and 
drove them to atrocious extremities. The Saxons called 
in the Danes, and were abandoned by them 

He resorts, as a " J 

totheTmandpa- 7 ' m the first reverses. William, to sap the 

tion of their slaves. pQwer of j^ antagon i sts? gave facilities for 

the emancipation of their slaves. 

On one side it was suspicion culminating in ven- 
geance ; on the other, faithlessness finding a false justifica- 
tion in patriotism, and hatred sharpened by personal mis- 
fortunes. William had sworn, under the provocation of 
. . . the Danish invasion, that he would lay deso- 

Exasperated by re- . 

chaSSws policy l a ^ e the north of England. With ferocious 

to one of cruelty. cmelty fa fcept hig ^^ He ma( J e & degert 

of all that was beyond the Humber ; not a castle, not a 


cottage was left. In the first burst of his wrath a hund- 
red thousand wretches miserably perished. Famine and 
pestilence followed. Strong-holds were built all over the 
country, and given to trusty soldiers. The Saxon clergy, 
who had become mixed up with these movements, were 
remorselessly deposed ; even the Pope consented to that 
retribution. Universal confiscation ensued. The propri- 
etary of the whole country was changed. It ceased to be 
Saxon ; it became Norman, and then — there was peace. 

The stern pressure of events against which, to do him 
ms subsequent re- justice, it must be said that he vainly strug. 
morse. gled, brought William to the conclusion, il- 

lustrated in other ages and in other countries, that a great 
social revolution is not final until it has touched the pro- 
prietorship of land. That he encountered these horrors 
reluctantly is shown by the circumstance that in his old 
age he tried to learn the language of the conquered race, 
that he might in person understand their complaints, and 
be just to them. On his death-bed he looked back with 
remorse on the cruelties to which he had been driven; 
and though he gave his dukedom of Normandy to his son 
Robert, he refrained from imposing a successor on the 
kingdom of England, lest he should cause a repetition of 
the horrors he had witnessed, and, Conqueror though he 
was, he only expressed a hope that William Rufus might 
be permitted to possess it. 

Through such an awful ordeal Saxon England passed. 

Yet out of these evils good was brought. 

ship of the land The Norman invasion did not diminish the 

changed, and the p \ # 

siaveTcure? 6 liberties of the country, but it inaugurated a 
national improvement. It did not destroy 
the Witena-gemot, it only called it " the Parliament." It 
swept away a demoralized and worn-out proprietary, re- 
placing it by a new and living one, strong enough in suc- 
ceeding years to extort from reluctant sovereigns valua- 


ble privileges. The new landlords and new masters sub- 
mitted to laws which the old ones would never have tol- 
erated. It may be said that William delivered from the 
depths of bondage nearly all the rural population. He 
gave them legal rights. The lord could no longer de- 
prive a laborer of his land if a just service had been ren- 
dered for it. No man could be sold out of the country. 
The residence of a slave for a year and a day, without 
being claimed, in any city, or walled town, or castle, en- 
titled him to perpetual liberty. The case of the peasant 
thus came into the courts of the king, where justice was 
sure to be meted out. Lowly though they might be, the 
rights of the bondsman were carefully recorded in Domes- 
day Book. The laws of this king made all the laboring 
population look up to him as their friend. If once the 
emancipation of the slave had been publicly proclaimed, 
and the emblems of war, a lance and a sword, had been 
openly put into his hand, our warlike forefathers held 
that the faith of the nation was irrevocably pledged. 
From that moment the man was forever free. 

Such was one of the prominent incidents that signal- 
ized the gradual extinction of slavery in En- 
Effect of monastic , .| , .-, ._,.. .. • / . 
institutions in en- gland i but neither in England nor in Eu- 

nobhng labor. ° ' ° t 

rope generally would such social convulsions 
have sufficed had there not come into effect that third 
cause to which I have alluded — the influence of monastic 
institutions. It is probable that the ameliorated social 
condition resulting from the Norman Conquest was felt 
more by the villeins in gross than by the villeins regar- 
dant. The former were transferable from one owner to 
another, the latter were annexed to the land. 

Antipathy to exertion soon engenders a sentiment of 
the disgracefulness of labor. The tendency then is to 
accumulate wealth in the hands of a few, and to prevent 

Chap. XVIII.] 



the existence of, or to destroy if it already exists, the 
middle class. From these evils not only England, but 
Europe, owes its deliverance to monastic institutions. 
The monastery was usually built in the most charming 
and picturesque site ; its solidity was in strong contrast 
with the rude peasant-cabins around it. It had its close- 
mown lawns, its gardens of flowers, its shady paths, and 
many murmuring streams. The devotion, and charities, 
and austerities of the brethren ; their celibacy, which, to 
the eye of the vulgar, is a proof of separation from the 
world and dedication to heaven, gave weight to their 
example of industry. Under their holy hands the wil- 
derness was turned into the autumnal harvest-field. They 
guided the plow and bent to the sickle. It was the Eu- 
ropean monk who first ennobled labor. 

But in the American slave countries of the nineteenth 
century there is nothing that can do what 
the monasteries did in the darkness of the 
Middle Ages. There is nothing that, by a 
transcendently conspicuous authority, can give dignity to 
manual labor. 

Such a change of sentiment is, however, necessary to 
the peaceful extinction of slavery. Indeed, for all radi- 
cal social changes there must be a change in the intellect- 
ual atmosphere through which things are contemplated. 
It is because of the modification it thus gradually im- 
presses on that atmosphere that each generation has ac- 
tually more influence over the thoughts of its successors 
than it has over its own. 

If the expectation of better views respecting the dig- 
nity of manual labor among the American 

Social prosperity , , , , ., P. 

depend on iudivid- slaveholders was thus so discouraging, not 

ual discontent. o 07 

much more favorable was the prospect in 
the case of the slaves themselves. The advancement of 
human society may be said to depend very largely on in- 

No equivalent to 
those institutions 
is found in Amer 


dividual discontent. The hope of bettering his condition 
excites the freeman to work ; he craves for things he does 
not possess ; he lives in the anticipation that the advant- 
ages he has gained to-day will be the means of procuring 
him new gratifications to-morrow. For this reason,. who- 
ever desires the improvement of the emancipated slave 
such discontent- must teach him to be dissatisfied with his 
toThVemSdpTted present lot, else he will sink into idleness, 
laboring no more than his absolute wants 
compel, indulging in the gratification of his lusts, and, an- 
imal-like, living merely to multiply his race. 

The wonderful activity of the Free States of America 
turns on the principle we are here consider- 

It is at the basis of. .-...-.-,-,. T , 

the progress of the mo; — individual discontentment. Labor is 

Free States. ° _ . , 

gladly encountered in the expectation that it 
will bring an adequate reward. For this reason it is that 
the civilization of the North is altogether pacific, and that 
it looks upon war, save under very exceptional circum- 
stances, such as the preservation of its own life, as mere 
folly. Its condition of progress is self-interest, enlight- 
ened, as far as can be accomplished, by a diffusion of 
knowledge. The individual, changing his prospect with- 
out reluctance, not only becomes reconciled to, but aids in 
the accomplishment of rapid social changes. The intel- 
lectual atmosphere through which things are regarded is 
being continually modified; opinion is perpetually im- 
proving. The social progress thus occurring inevitably 
calls for a corresponding progress in government. Gov- 
ernment ceases to be a mere mechanism, which, once con- 
structed, is unchanging; it becomes an organism, ever 
growing, ever developing. 





Virginia, having for many presidential terms retained control of the Union, ex- 
cluded the Opposition or Federal party from power. That party had been irrep- 
arably injured by its domestic policy and by its resistance to the English war. 

Attempts were made by persons thus excluded from power to overthrow the Vir- 
ginia dynasty. For this purpose they selected slavery us their object of attack, 
hoping for success through an appeal to the moral sense of the Free States of 
the North. 

They proposed the restriction of slavery when Missouri applied for admission into 
the Union as a state. The Slave States resisted their attempt. 

In the foregoing section I have described the gradual 
formation of two geographical parties in the republic, 
the North and the South, and have shown under what 
circumstances they tended to come into antagonism with 
each other. 

The conflict in which they subsequently engaged ex- 
phasesofthe con- nibits tw0 phases : 1st. A parliamentary con- 
Free b andTave e test in the houses of Congress. 2d. War. 

In this section I shall have to relate the 
chief incidents of that parliamentary contest. They are 
most conveniently arranged in their chronological order. 
1. The Missouri Struggle. 2. The Tariff Question. 3. Nul- 
lification. 4. The Annexation of Texas. 5. The Mexican 
War. 6. The Kansas-Nebraska Conflict. 

In 1812, the Territory of Orleans, a part of the country 


obtained by purchase from France by Mr. 

Application of Mis- T ™ j •!_. j • j_ .i tt • t 

souri to be admit- J enerson, was admitted into the U nion under 

ted as a state. . ' 

the title of the State of Louisiana. Six 
years subsequently, the Territory of Missouri, the more 
northerly portion of the purchase, made application to 
be also admitted as a state. At that time the applica- 
tion was unsuccessful, but it was renewed in the follow- 
ing year in the House of Representatives. During the 
debates that ensued, a most important amendment was 
introduced by a Northern member to the following ef- 

"Provided that the introduction of slavery or invol- 
a slave restriction untai 7 servitude be prohibited, except for 
proposed. j^e punishment of crimes whereof the party 

has been duly convicted; and that all children born 
within the said state, after the admission thereof into the 
Union, shall be declared free at the age of twenty-four 

This restriction at once gave rise to a sectional con- 
flict between the North and the South, and the bill 
was eventually lost through the House and Senate dis- 

In the following Congress the attempt was again re- 
newed. Though Arkansas, which was a part of the 
Louisiana purchase not embraced in the proposed limits 
of Missouri, had in the mean time been admitted as a 
slave Territory, the South made the most determined re- 
sistance to the advocates of restriction. By some the 
constitutional right to enact the provision was denied; 
others, anticipating a course of action w T hich was event- 
ually to assume importance, asserted the doctrine of 
" Congressional non-interference" — that Congress has no 
power to mould the institutions of a new state, more 
particularly that it has none to interfere either with the 
introduction or prohibition of slavery. It was aflirmed 


that the restriction put a stigma on the whole South, and 
threats were not wanting that, rather than submit to it, 
the South would secede from the Union. On the other 
hand, the Legislatures of several of the Northern States 
transmitted to Congress resolutions in its favor. 

Meantime a bill had passed the House admitting Maine 

The Missouri com- as a state ; an( l at tnis juncture the Senate 
promise. returned that bill with an addition authoriz- 

ing Missouri to form a state Constitution, the intention 
being to force the admission of Missouri by means of the 
admission of Maine. The House refusing to concur in 
the action of the Senate, a conciliatory proposition was 
introduced in the Senate, known as " The Missouri Com- 
promise :" it was to the following effect : 

" And be it further enacted, That in all that Territory 
ceded by France to the United States under the name of 
Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees thirty 
minutes north latitude, excepting only such part thereof 
as is included within the limits of the state (Missouri) 
contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary serv- 
itude, otherwise than in the punishment of crime where- 
of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall be, and 
is, hereby forever prohibited. Provided always, That 
any person escaping into the same from whom labor or 
service is lawfully claimed in any state or Territory of 
the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully re- 
claimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her 
labor or service as aforesaid." 

In this proposition the House refused to concur. In 
circumstances at- tlie Committee of Conference that ensued it 
SSlomlt was proposed that the Senate should give 

souri as a state. *, -1 • ±* n -»«-• • '.i -n/r • 

up its combination of Missouri with Maine, 
and the House its restriction of slavery in Missouri, but 
that slavery should be excluded- in accordance with the 
Compromise from all other territory north and west of 


Missouri. In this form the bill passed. When, however, 
Missouri presented herself for admission at the next ses- 
sion, with a Constitution prohibiting her Legislature to 
emancipate slaves or to prevent their immigration, but 
requiring it to prohibit the immigration of free negroes 
or mulattoes, the North, considering that this was a vio- 
lation of that clause of the Constitution which guarantees 
to the citizens of each state the rights of citizens in every 
state, compelled the adoption of an additional condition, 
that no act should ever be passed by the Legislature of 
Missouri " by which any of the citizens of either of the 
states should be excluded from the enjoyment of the 
privileges and immunities to which they are entitled un- 
der the Constitution of the United States." 

The Missouri Question stands forth as a prominent 
landmark in the view of American history. 

Interpretation of T . . . . n •> tit i , i 

the Missouri It presents itself so suddenly, so abruptly as 

Question */ > x %/ 

to excite surprise. When Louisiana was ad- 
mitted into the Union in 1812, there was no objection on 
account of slavery ; when Mississippi was admitted in 
1817, the only reluctance to the measure was the size of 
her territory, and that was remedied by the separation 
of what became the State of Alabama from her. Ala- 
bama, in its turn, was admitted without question in 1819. 
In like manner formerly Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, 
Ohio, Indiana, had been received without any question as 
to their free or slave condition. 

It is plain, therefore, that something had occurred which 

was bringing the Slave Question more con- 
it was ostensibly • -\ • , • mi *„j. i j. 

connected with spicuously into view. Inirty years later, 
morality of the when the consequent disputes had risen to 

times, x t x m 

a fearful and fatal height, Mr. Seward, m one 
of his speeches, said (1850), " Sir, in my humble judgment, 
it is not the fierce conflict of parties that we are seeing 


and hearing, but, on the contrary, it is the agony of dis- 
traction of parties — a convulsion resulting from the too 
narrow foundations of both the great parties, and of all 
parties — foundations laid in compromises of natural jus- 
tice and human liberty. A question — a moral question 
— transcending the too narrow creeds of parties, has aris- 
en ; the public conscience expands with it, and the green 
withes of party associations give way, and break and fall 
off from it. No, sir, it is not the state that is dying of the 
fever of party spirit. It is merely a paralysis of parties, 
premonitory, however, of their restoration with new ele- 
ments of health and vigor, to be imbibed from that spirit 
of the age which is justly called Progress." 

Such, too, was the general opinion at the time of the 
Missouri struggle in the North. It was believed that 
the Declaration of Independence was a protest against 
slavery, and that, as had formerly been the case in Mas- 
sachusetts in her domestic slavery, the public conscience 
had at last awakened to the fact. 

Doubtless society at the North had been experiencing 
the silent influence of that " spirit of the age which is 
called Progress." The Puritanism of New England had 
to no little extent been cast off; its narrow conceptions, 
and many of its austerities, had been abjured. It had 
been exorcised of its evil spirit, and made more worthy 
of the times. The things in which it had once seen no 
wrong, or perhaps had defended — the deportation of In- 
dians, the African slave-trade, the perpetual bondage of 
American-born persons of color — it would now no longer 

But beneath these moral considerations lay others of a 
political kind, in which were contained the 

But politically was -. . -, . in, *, 

a struggle for pow- convulsive iorce that caused, alter several 


premonitions, the social earthquake which 
has been witnessed in our days. To comprehend this, it 
L— Z 


is only needful for us to learn the opinions of some of the 
leading men who were, at the time of the Missouri strug- 
gle, standing at the general point of view. 

President Jefferson, then in the decline of life, "but, per- 
haps, better able to judge of the state of public affairs 
than any contemporary, says : 

" The (Missouri) question is a mere party trick. The 
Jefferson's views of leaders of Federalism are taking advantage 
its character. £ ^ e v i r tuous feeling of the people to ef- 
fect a division of parties by a geographical line ; they ex- 
pect that this will insure them, on local principles, the 
majority they could never obtain on the principles of 
Federalism." "The coincidence of a marked principle, 
moral and political, with a geographical line once con- 
ceived,! feared would never more be obliterated from the 
mind ; that it would be recurring on every occasion, and 
renewing irritations, until it would kindle such mutual 
and mortal hatred as to render separation preferable to 
eternal discord." " The people of the North went blind- 
fold into the snare, and followed their leaders for a while 
with a zeal truly moral and laudable, until they became 
sensible that they were injuring instead of aiding the 
real interests of the slaves — that they had been used 
merely as tools for electioneering purposes — and that trick 
of hypocrisy then fell as quickly as it had been got up." 

The Federal party had been excluded from power for 
nearly twenty years — since the close of Mr. 

Long exclusion of A n « -, . . . . . mi • • i n 

the Federalists Adams s administration. 1 neir ideas of cen- 

from power. . . . , 

tralization were not m harmony with the 
times; the enactment of the Alien and Sedition Laws had 
afforded the rival party an opportunity of accomplishing 
their defeat. They had again committed the mistake of 
openly opposing the war of 1812. On its declaration the 
flags in Boston had been lowered to half-mast. All 
through the East the pulpits were thundering against it. 


Exertions were made to prevent any portion of the gov- 
ernment loan being taken in New England. President 
Madison had found himself constrained to advert in his 
message to the want of patriotism evinced by the govern- 
ors of Massachusetts and Connecticut in their refusal to 
furnish the required detachments of militia for the de- 
fense of the maritime frontier. A mystery surrounded 
the Hartford Convention, which met in the autumn of 
1814; it was suspected of contemplating measures of se- 

While thus in the East the war was regarded with 
disfavor, and denounced as needless and in- 

Their conduct in 7 

iefvf s n them with- jurious to the best interests of the country, 
out hope. y. wag sus tained with the warmest approval 

throughout the South. After the overthrow of the French 
emperor and his exile to Elba, it became clear that it was 
not possible to continue the English struggle any longer, 
and, indeed, had there not been the foreign consideration 
that the whole power of England, now disengaged from 
her conflict with France, would be drawn into play, the 
state of the American finances would have brought the 
war to an end. The dominant party could not conceal 
their mortification that peace had been made without 
any avowed adjustment of the difficulty which had led 
to the war, and were only too ready to lay the blame on 
their rivals. On the other hand, the Federalists now dis- 
covered how perilous it is, when war is once commenced, 
to be found in opposition to the government ; and the 
public, intoxicated by the brilliant results of the duels of 
the frigates, and wrought up to the highest pitch of mili- 
tary enthusiasm by the victory at New Orleans, were in 
no temper to forgive them. 

Under these circumstances, no hopes remained to the 
Federalist leaders from persevering in their past inten- 
tions. It had become absolutely necessary for them to 


have new objects and a new policy. It was to this con- 
clusion that Mr. Jefferson referred when he accused theni 
of taking advantage of the virtuous feelings of the people 
to effect a geographical division of parties by raising a 
controversy with the slave power. 

The origin of these parties dates back to the Revolu- 
tion. Long before the designations Feder- 

The original Revo- vj_ j~r> it i j i • 

lutionists had been alist and Kepublican were used, their ani- 

decomposed into . . . , . . . 

I^Engiish and a mating principles were m vigorous action. 
There was a party, as we have seen (page 
268), headed by Washington, which saw safety for the 
colonies only in centralization, another inclined to a 
league ; the former perceived that restraint was neces- 
sary to order, the latter would sacrifice nothing of indi- 
vidual liberty, and as little as possible of state -rights. 
Even as early as the time of Washington's appointment 
as commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary army, Mr. 
Adams says there was a Northern and a Southern party : 
the Northern yielded on that point to the wishes of the 

The action of these parties was manifested in the for- 
mation of the Confederation ; it is still more 

Washington heads ■ »-i • i • ,i • i i , ,-i 

the former, jeffer- strikingly seen m the various debates on the 

son the latter. . . r^, .-,-.. /» ttt -i • 

Constitution. Ihe tranquillity or Washing- 
ton's cabinet was disturbed by them ; he vainly attempt- 
ed to compose their dissensions. It was not possible but 
that each should sympathize with ideas corresponding to 
its own, at that time agitating, and, indeed, convulsing all 

Prance, in her revolution, had put herself forth as the 
representative of Liberty. England claimed to be the 
representative of Order. Mr. Jefferson, who in due time 
became the recognized head of the Republican party, 
leaned altogether to the former, accepting without re- 


serve all her democratic ideas. His opinions were ex- 
tensively adopted throughout the Southern States. On 
the other hand, Washington, partly from state considera- 
tions and partly from religious ideas, inclined to the En- 
glish side. But no one, whatever his opinions might be, 
could defend the atrocities perpetrated by the French 
Kepublic, or excuse its action toward foreign powers. In 
that respect the American government had special causes 
of complaint, which became more and more aggravated 
through the policy of Napoleon. 

In the important events ensuing in consequence of the 
Jefferson's party is enactment of the Alien and Sedition Laws, 
triumphant. we again see the influence of geographical 

parties. Of these acts Mr. J. Q. Adams observes, " The 
Alien Act was passed under feelings of honest indigna- 
tion at the audacity with which foreign emissaries were 
practicing, within the bosom of the country, upon the 
passions of the people against their own government. 
The Sedition Act was intended as a curb upon the pub- 
lication of malicious and incendiary slanders upon the 
President, or the two houses of Congress, or either of 
them. But they were restrictive upon the personal 
liberty of foreign emissaries and upon the political licen- 
tiousness of the press." Mr. Jefferson took advantage of 
their extreme unpopularity not only to throw the Federal 
party out of power, but even to array the states against 
the Union. The Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, both 
of which were drafted by him or at his suggestion, assert- 
ed the right of individual states to interpose as against 
the United States ; and from them originated the doc- 
trine of Nullification. 

From these various incidents we see how strong w T as 
the tendency to the formation of geographical parties 
even early in the history of the republic. Already there 
was politically a North and a South ; already they had 


foreign affiliations, English and French, respectively. Lo- 
cal ideas were still dominating over the general good. 
Thus, as we have seen (p. 202), it was thought better 
for New England that there should be an advantageous 
treaty with Spain than that the South should have per- 
mission for the navigation of the Mississippi. It was 
such inspirations as these that led Mr. Jefferson and his 
party to cling to peace with France — a French war would 
have been their ruin. The history of the United States 
would have been altogether different had the contest of 
1812 been with France instead of with England. When 
once a war is declared, all parties are swept into its vor- 
tex ; if any linger, or, still more, if they resist, they are cer- 
tain to be overwhelmed. 

The war of 1812-15 took place; the Federalists resist- 
ed it and were ruined. At the close of that 
fhfsouthlm ius e t 8 war there was every prospect that the dom- 

for territorial ex- . . . -■ -. . . . , 

pansionbythepur- mant party would perpetuate its Ions: en- 

chase of Louisiana. " . ° 

joyment of power. The old questions and 
old issues were determined. The Virginia dynasty had 
become master of the situation. In vain New England 
had entertained the idea of joining with Calhoun, Cheves, 
Lowndes, and other South Carolinians, who were anima- 
ted by similar sentiments of disappointed ambition, for 
putting it down. That dynasty had gained great strength 
from the acquisition of Louisiana and the free navigation 
of the Mississippi. There was nothing to stop the slave- 
system, which was now a power in the state, from indef- 
inite westward extension. Cotton had become so para- 
mount that a protective tariff was actually imposed by 
the South upon New England, in order that the develop- 
ment of the new industry of the Slave States might be 
encouraged. It was not until subsequently that both 
parties detected, to their surprise, the true working of 
such a tariff, and mutually changed their ground. 


Adverse fortune and ill-judged policy had brought 

the Federal party to its end. Its leaders 

thJSw g the°viJ|£ia saw that all was over. New and living 

issues must be sought for. Not without 

wisdom did they select another stand-point, and prepare 

to combat their adversary in his most vulnerable part. 

A compact and an unmistakable formula, of 

The Slave Question -1 • i , i . • «i t . -1 • 

is used as the which the purport is easily understood, is 

means of attack. . xx ^ m , 

invaluable as a party war-cry. lo restrain 
slavery, and eventually to destroy it, became their dogma. 
It gathered irresistible power, because it was in unison 
with the sentiment of the times. 

In this manner the North became the champion of 

Unionism, the South necessarily falling into 

The Slave States .-, .-. . . . -, . • 1-1 • , t 

adopt the doctrine the theory oi state-rights, with its dangerous 

of state-rights. J <p 7 . & , 

consequences of nullification and secession. 
In this manner, also, slavery became the political touch- 
stone. The introduction of the Missouri dispute banded 
the South together ; it agitated to their profoundest 
depths the populations of the North. They accepted the 
proposed Constitution of Missouri, which prohibited the 
emancipation of slaves and forbade the immigration of 
freedmen, as a cartel of defiance. As in the dissolving 
views depicted by a magic lantern on the wall, the Feder- 
alist party disappeared, and out of the ruinous confu- 
sion its anti-slavery successor began slowly to take on 
form and emerge. 



The South declined the assault of her antagonist on slavery, and assumed the of- 
fensive on the Tariff Question. The tariff, originally a Southern measure, oper- 
ated in a manner unexpected by both parties, who were obliged to change their 
ground. It was denounced by the South as unjust to her, and tending to political 
debauchery ; it was defended by New England as a wise and necessary national 

To the Northern politician, who, during Mr. Monroe's 
administration, recalled the past annals of the republic, 
the future was without hope. Incited by his devotion 
to Unionism, he had tried to strengthen the central pow- 
er at Washington, but had been defeated on the occasion 
of the Alien and Sedition Acts ; he had looked with dis- 
favor on the free navigation of the Mississippi, but the 
river had been bought ; he was disinclined to territorial 
expansion, but Louisiana had been purchased ; he had 
resisted the admission of new states from that purchase, 
but, one after another, they were coming in. He had op- 
posed the English war ;• his opposition had brought noth- 
ing but discredit. In supercilious pride his Southern an- 
impositionofa tagonists had imposed a protective tariff, 
tariff m isle. ^ a t ^ey m [^ ma k e hi m their spinner and 

weaver ; he had resisted it in vain, little dreaming what 
its issue would be. It was intended to diminish his com- 
mercial gains by touching his carrying interest. But the 
New England manufacturing power, thus stimulated in 
its growth, quickly showed what it was about to do. 
Every mill and machine-shop became a centre from which 
wealth was diffused. 

The protective tariff was originally a Southern meas- 


ure, due, in no small degree, to Mr. Calhoun, who, in 1816, 

being then a member of the House, advanced 

southemmea^- 3, it very effectually. It was expected to prove 

of great benefit to the South by promoting 

the interest of the cotton-planters. 

In the decade between 1820 and 1830 the essential dig- 
its effects on the tinction between the labor of the North and 

labor-system. ' ^ q{ ^ g^^ j^ tecome c l ear l y man i. 

fest. In the former it was machinery, in the latter slaves. 
The stimulation that had been administered to machine 
development at the North produced the same wonder- 
ful effect that had been observed in Western England 
thirty years before. The South had plainly overreached 

The raising of the Missouri Question was a blow at 
the labor-system of the South. In due time, as we shall 
presently see, it was retaliated by Nullification, a blow 
at the labor-system of the North. These were but pre- 
liminary to the mortal engagement that ensued in the 
civil war. 

Climate had separated the American nation into two 
sections, and they, of course, had become known by geo- 
graphical names. It had made a North and a South. 
The political instinct of each had become distinctly mark- 
ed. In one it was manifested by Unionism ; in the other 
by State-rights. The labor-basis on which the two soci- 
eties were resting had now become distinctly separate ; 
in one it was machinery, in the other slaves. 

Labor is the basis of national prosperity — the basis of 
national power. Not without reason, there- 

Wisdomofthe „ ,. .. * . . ,, . . , 

North in raising lore, did the two sections, m their rivalry, 

the Slave Question. , ' ' « ' 

strike at each other in that part. To regain 
her lost influence in the republic, the North acted wisely 
in commencing the Missouri struggle, because she could 
rest her action on a great moral idea; and a true idea, 


no matter what may be the physical resistance it encoun- 
ters, will inevitably, at last, force its way. 

For the same reason, the South discreetly changed its 
ground. Even at the time of the Missouri 
s^uth°ta°de?ihiing struggle its most anxious desire was, as in 
struggle on the subsequent years, " only to be let alone." It 
did not dare to meet its rival on the Slave 
Question, for throughout Southern society there were the 
most serious misgivings as to the morality of the assailed 
institution. Religious men, and what, perhaps, was still 
more important, religious women, earnestly prayed that 
it might be brought to an end. They had not yet con- 
cluded that it was of patriarchal origin, and had received 
apostolic sanction. They thought that for the slave and 
his master there was but one common Redeemer, and 
that an inevitable day would come in which He would 
be their common Judge. 

Instead, therefore, of maintaining a defensive war on 
the indefensible question of slavery, the South boldly 
assumed the offensive, carrying her operations into the 
territory of her antagonist, and, by striking at the tariff, 
struck at her basis of labor. Her action in this matter 
was known as Nullification. 

Great political principles soon become embodied in rep- 
:. _ u resentative men. Mr. Clay presents himself, 

Mr. Clay becomes J ± > 

of No?the s m to£S- though a man of Southern birth and West- 
triai interests, em res i(j ence? as the defender of the labor- 
system of the North. His American system protects the 
home manufacturer, and puts its trust in machinery. He 
has no faith in the slave. His love of the Union is in- 
stinctive ; it is the attribute of his party. 

On the other side stands Mr. Calhoun, the defender of 
And Mr. caihoun ^ ne labor-system of the South. He has no 
of southern. confidence in and no patronage for machin- 
ery. A great republic has no charms for him ; his maxim 
is state-rights. 


The principle that in the imposition of a tariff the pro- 
tection of home industry should be the ob- 

History of the ear- . , -, . -, . . -, . -.. 

Mer tariff move- iect and revenue the incident, appears dis- 


tinctly in 1816. At that time, and up to 
1824, the Eastern States may be considered as having 
commercial interests that predominated over their manu- 
factures, and hence they were advocates of free trade, 
and, as has been stated, opponents of a protective tariff, 
which had heretofore found its chief support in the South- 
ern, the Middle, and the Western States. In the course 
of a few years manufacturing industry underwent a rapid 
development. New England discovered that it had be- 
come of singular value to her; the Southern States de- 
tected the mistake they had made ; and the leading rep- 
™ « .u ^ .v, resentatives of these different sections were 

The North and the 

mutaaBy^SSge compelled to change their position. Thus 
their ground. Mr. Webster, who had first appeared as an 
advocate for free trade and an opponent of the principle 
of protection, adopted in due season high-tariff views ; 
and Mr. Calhoun, who had looked with favor on tariff 
principles originally, was brought into strenuous opposi- 
tion to them. 

In the discussions that took place on this subject in 
state of the subject 1 ^4, Mr. Clay took the lead as the cham- 
in 1824. p* on £ ^ e American system. Mr. Webster 

was found in opposition as the advocate of free trade. 
Mr. Benton, relating the circumstances under which the 
bill eventually passed, remarks : " The attack and support 
of the bill took much of a sectional aspect ; Virginia, the 
tw^o Carolinas, Georgia, and some others, being nearly 
unanimous against it; Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, 
Kentucky, being nearly unanimous for it. Massachu- 
setts, which up to this time had a predominating interest 
in commerce, gave all her votes except one against it. 
With this sectional aspect, a tariff for prohibition also be- 

3^4 ^ R * BENTON ON THE TARIFFS. [Sect.V. 

gan to assume a political aspect, being taken under the 
care of the party since discriminated as the Whig." 
This sectional aspect which the Tariff Question had as- 
sumed became much more strongly marked 
more sectional in in 1828. The tariff then enacted was orisr- 


inally designed for the benefit of the woolen 
interest ; but, one after another, other manufactures were 
included, until a sufficient legislative strength was gath- 
ered to carry it. It was a sacrifice of public to local in- 
terests. The hemp, iron, lead, and distilled spirits of the 
West were conjoined with the woolens of the East in se- 
curing its passage. Many of those who, under the stress 
of the domestic influence of their constituents, voted for 
it, publicly protested against its principles ; they foresaw 
the abuses it was introducing, and that it offered a ready 
means of widespread bribery in presidential and other 

In his historical sketch of the tariff of 1828, Mr. Ben- 
™. c. «. -u ton remarks : " Tariff bills, each exceeding 

The South, becom- . . . ° 

p n r!S°a|ainst d ' ^ e °ther in its degree of protection, had be- 
the system. conie a regular appendage of our presiden- 

tial elections, coming round in every cycle of four years 
with that returning event. The year 1816 was the start- 
ing-point — 1820, 1824, and now 1828 having successively 
renewed the measure, with successive augmentations of 
duties. The South believed itself impoverished to enrich 
the North by this system, and, certainly, a singular and 
unexpected result had been seen in these two sections. 
" In the colonial state the Southern were the rich part 
of the colonies, and expected to do well in a 

Mr. Benton's repre- n . , , m , , , ., 

sentationofthe state or independence, lhey had the ex- 
position of things. ■*■ « i • 

ports, and felt secure of their property ; not 
so of the North, whose agricultural resources were few, 
and who expected privations from the loss of British fa- 
vor. But in the first half century after independence 


this expectation was reversed. The wealth of the North 
was enormously aggrandized ; that of the South had de- 
clined. Northern towns had become great cities. South- 
ern cities had decayed or become stationary, and Charles- 
ton, the principal port of the South, was less considerable 
than before the Revolution. The North became a money- 
lender to the South, and Southern citizens made pilgrim- 
ages to Northern cities to raise money upon the hypoth- 
ecation of their patrimonial estates ; and this in the face 
of a Southern export since the Revolution to the value 
of eight hundred millions of dollars — a sum equal to the 
product of the Mexican mines since the days of Cortez, 
and twice or thrice the amount of their product in the 
same fifty years. The Southern States attributed this re- 
sult to the action of the federal government — its double 
action of levying revenue upon the industry of one sec- 
tion of the Union and expending it in another — and es- 
pecially to its protective tariffs. To some degree this at- 
tribution was just, but not to the degree assumed, which 
is evident from the fact that the protective system had 
then only been in force for a short time — since the year 
1816 ; and the reverse condition of the two sections of 
the Union had commenced before that time. Other 
causes must have had some effect." What those other 
causes were I shall point out hereafter. 

On the occasion of the tariff of 1828 Mr. M'Duffie 
clearly set forth the opinions held by the 

The speech of Mr. .-, .-. . . , . -. , ,,&•'? 

M'Duffie, showing boutn on the principle involved. " Sir, if 

the political demor- . /» -i in -i 

aiization that must the union of these states shall ever be sev- 


ered, and their liberties subverted, the his- 
torian who records these disasters will have to ascribe 
them to measures of this description. I do sincerely be- 
lieve that neither this government nor any free govern- 
ment can exist for a quarter of a century under such a 
system of legislation. Its inevitable tendency is to cor- 
rupt not only the public functionaries, but all those por- 

306 MR. M'DUFFIE'S SPEECH. [Sect.V. 

tions of the Union and classes of society who have an in- 
terest, real or imaginary, in the bounties it provides by 
taxing other sections or other classes. What, sir, is the 
essential characteristic of a freeman? It is that inde- 
pendence which results from an habitual reliance upon his 
own resources and his own labor for his support. He is 
not, in fact, a freeman who habitually looks to the gov- 
ernment for pecuniary bounties. And I confess that 
nothing in the conduct of those who are the prominent 
advocates of this system has excited more apprehension 
and alarm in my mind than the constant efforts made by 
all of them, from the Secretary of the Treasury down to 
the humblest coadjutor, to impress upon the public mind 
the idea that national prosperity and individual wealth 
are to be derived, not from individual industry and econ- 
omy, but from government bounties. An idea more fatal 
to liberty could not be inculcated. I said, 
protective tariffs on another occasion, that the days of Roman 

will renew the po- ' ^ 

ofRoml bauchery liberty were numbered when the people con- 
sented to receive bread from the public gran- 
aries. From that moment it was not the patriot who 
had shown the greatest capacity, and made the greatest 
sacrifices to serve the republic, but the demagogue who 
would promise to distribute most profusely the spoils of 
the plundered provinces, that was elevated to oifice by a 
degenerate and mercenary populace. Every thing be- 
came venal, even in the country of Fabricius, until finally 
the empire itself was sold at public auction ! And what, 
sir, is the nature and tendency of the system we are dis- 
cussing ? It bears an analogy but too lamentably strik- 
ing to that which corrupted the republican purity of the 
Roman people. God forbid that it should consummate 
its triumph over the public liberty here by a similar ca- 
tastrophe, though even that is an event by no means im- 
probable if we continue to legislate periodically in this 
way, and to connect the election of our chief magistrate 

Chap. XX.] MR. M'DUFFIE'S SPEECH. 367 

with the question of dividing out the spoils of 

Its effect on the . . . . t i i • x t> 

presidential eiec- certain states — degraded into Koman prov- 
inces — among the influential capitalists of 
the other states of this Union ! Sir, when I consider that, 
by a single act like the present, from five to ten millions of 
dollars may be transferred annually from one part of the 
community to another — when I consider the disguise of 
disinterested patriotism under which the basest and most 
profligate ambition may perpetrate such an act of injustice 
and political prostitution, I can not hesitate for a moment 
to pronounce this very system of indirect bounties the 
most stupendous instrument of corruption ever placed in 
the hands of public functionaries. It brings ambition, and 
avarice, and wealth into a combination which it is fearful 
to contemplate, because it is almost impossible to resist. 
Do we not perceive, at this very moment, the extraordina- 
ry and melancholy spectacle of less than one hundred thou- 
sand capitalists, by means of this unhallowed combina- 
tion, exercising an absolute and despotic control over the 
opinions of eight millions of free citizens, and the fortunes 
and destinies of ten millions ? Sir, I will not anticipate 
or forbode evil. I will not permit myself to believe that 
the Presidency of the United States will ever be bought 
and sold by this system of bounties and prohibitions ; 
but I must say that there are certain quarters of this 
Union in which, if a candidate for the Presidency were 
to come forward with the Harrisburg tariff in his hand, 
nothing could resist his pretensions if his adversary were 
opposed to this unjust system of oppression. Yes, sir, 
that bill would be a talisman which would give a charm- 
ed existence to the candidate who would pledge him- 
self to support it ; and, although he were covered with 
all the " multiplying villainies of nature," the most im- 
maculate patriot and profound statesman in the nation 
could hold no competition with him if he should refuse 
to grant this new species of imperial donative." 



The causes which had led New England to change her 

views, and to become henceforth the advo- 

ten™onte£o*Z cate of the protective tariffs, or " American 

giand, andher 11 System " were at the same time (1828) set 

change of views. " \ ' 

forth by Mr. Webster, who had himself fol- 
lowed that change in the opinion of the Eastern com- 
munities. " New England, sir, has not been a leader in 
this policy. On the contrary, she held back herself, and 
tried to hold others back from it, from the adoption of 
the Constitution to 1824. Up to 1824 she was accused 
of sinister and selfish designs because she discounte- 
nanced the progress of this policy. It was laid to her 
charge then, that, having established her manufactures 
herself, she wished that others should not have the pow- 
er of rivaling her, and for that reason opposed all legis- 
lative encouragement. Under this angry denunciation 
against her the act of 1824 passed. Now the imputa- 
tion is precisely of an opposite character. The present 
measure is pronounced to be exclusively for the benefit 
of New England, to be brought forward by her agency, 
and designed to gratify the cupidity of her wealthy es- 

" Both charges, sir, are equally without the slightest 
a , A foundation. The opinion of New England 

He declares that ■*■ <-> 

s?rain a ed b bygo?- n " U P to 1824 was founded on the conviction 

eminent action, ^^ on ^ w ^ l e? ft wag W i SeS t and best, 

both for herself and others, that manufactures should 
make haste slowly. She felt a reluctance to trust great 
interests on the foundation of government patronage, for 
who could tell how long such patronage would last, or 
with what steadiness, skill, or perseverance it would con- 
tinue to be granted ? It is true that, from the very first 
commencement of the government, those who have ad- 
ministered its concerns have held a tone of encourage- 
ment and invitation toward those who should embark in 


manufactures. All tie presidents, I believe without ex- 
ception, have concurred in this general sentiment, and the 
very first act of Congress laying duties of impost adopted 
the then unusual expedient of a preamble, apparently for 
little other purpose than that of declaring that the duties 
which it imposed were imposed for the encouragement 
and protection of manufactures. When, at the commence- 
ment of the late war, duties were doubled, we were told 
that we should find a mitigation of the weight of taxa- 
tion in the new aid and succor which would be thus af- 
forded to our own manufacturing labor. Like arguments 
were urged and prevailed, but not by the aid of New En- 
gland votes, when the tariff was afterward arranged at 
the close of the war in 1816. Finally, after a whole win- 
ter's deliberation, the act of 1824 received the sanction of 
both houses of Congress, and settled the policy of the 
country. "What, then, was New England to do? She was 
fitted for manufacturing operations by the 
be^dSve^t^ amount and character of her population, by 

manufacturing, 1 . , , , , /• l 

s^must now her capital, by the vigor and energy 01 her 
free labor, by the skill, economy, enterprise, 
and perseverance of her people. I repeat, what was she, 
under these circumstances, to do ? A great and prosper- 
ous rival in her near neighborhood, threatening to draw 
from her a part, perhaps a great part of her foreign com- 
merce, was she to use or to neglect those other means of 
seeking her own prosperity which belonged to her char- 
acter and her condition? Was she to hold out forever 
against the course of the government, and see herself los- 
ing on one side, and yet making no efforts to sustain her- 
self on the other ? No, sir, nothing was left to New En- 
gland after the act of 1824 but to conform herself to the 
will of others. Nothing was left to her but to consider 
that the government had fixed and determined its own 
policy, and that policy was protection." 
I.— A A 



In 1832, South Carolina, under the influence of Mr. Calhoun, placed herself in op- 
position to the United States on the Tariff Question, and passed an ordinance of 
Nullification. President Jackson issued a proclamation, pointing out that the 
movement was the work of disappointed and ambitious men, denouncing it as 
treasonable, and declaring his intention to enforce the laws. He called upon 
the people to sustain him in the discharge of his duty. At his recommendation 
Congress removed just causes of complaint through the Compromise Measures 
of Mr. Clay, and South Carolina receded from her position. 

The life and character of Mr. Calhoun. 

The election of 1828, which gave the Presidency to 
General Jackson and the Vice-Presidency to Mr. Calhoun, 
was a renewed triumph of the South over the North, of 
the Slave over the Free States, and a repudiation of the 
policy of protective tariffs. 

In 1832, General Jackson was re-elected, and that re- 
pudiation reaffirmed. During his first term 

Isolation of Mr. /»/v» • -i , t -i -i i i ^ 

caihoun from his oi office, misunderstandings had taken place 

party. 1 & % * 

between him and Mr. Calhoun sufficiently 
serious to cause the dissolution of the cabinet. 

Whatever ambitious aspirations might have been enter- 
tained by Mr. Calhoun of attaining, in due time, to the 
Presidency, they were by these events destroyed. He 
had become isolated from the party to which, by the 
general tenor of his views, he properly belonged, and yet 
he maintained a position of singular influence, often hold- 
ing, as it were, the balance of power between it and its 

His extraordinary talent gave him great political con- 
trol in South Carolina, his native state, and since she 


adopted his views and carried them into exe- 

re of the 

His influence on 

the future of the cution as tar as she had a bility, his disappoint- 

ed expectations have left a deep — perhaps it 
ought to be added a baneful — impression on the history 
of the republic. His aim eventually was to assure su- 
preme power to an oligarchy of slaveholders ; and South 
Carolina, like a Cartesian image, moved under the pres- 
sure of his finger. 

Since the true effect of a high tariff had been discover- 
ed — that it would inevitably lead to the aggrandizement 
of the North — he had never ceased to inculcate upon the 
Slave States how detrimental it was to their well-being. 
The re-election of General Jackson in 1832, Mr. Van Buren 
being now Vice-President, was generally accepted as an 
unmistakable demonstration of the intention and wishes 
of the nation. Mr. Clay, the champion of the Protective 
Policy, and the opposition candidate for the Presidency, 
mu . . . . had been totally overthrown. Out of two 

The principle of a J 

cuneTb7the ri n ff a- de " hundred and twenty-eight votes, he had re- 
tlon * ceived only forty-nine. 

In view of the extinction of the public debt, the Pres- 
„ ej x , ident, in his annual message, had recom- 

President Jackson 7 O ' 

aSe^aUflcation 1 " mended a rearrangement and readjustment 
of the tariff; there was every reason to sup- 
pose that Congress, in its ensuing session, would carry 
that recommendation into effect. 

But South Carolina, without waiting for that result, 
_ ^ _ v proceeded to act alone. She had held aloof 

South Carolina pre- -t 

SSKSffEK f rom tne election, and, within a few days 
after it, she issued through a Convention 
an " ordinance to nullify certain acts of the Congress of 
the United States, purporting to be laws laying duties 
and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities." 
The chief points in this ordinance were, that the acts re- 
ferred to were declared to be unauthorized by the Con- 


stitution, and therefore null and void ; that any attempt 
to enforce the collection of duties under them was unlaw- 
ful ; that no appeal to the Supreme Court should be per- 
mitted from any court calling the authority of the ordi- 
nance in question ; that every officer in the state should 
take an oath to execute the ordinance ; and that, if the 
general government should attempt to resort to force to 
accomplish its purpose, South Carolina would secede 
from the Union. The Convention issued two 

Address of the Con- i •> n -i ^ 

ventiontotnepeo- addresses, one to the people of South Caro- 

ple of South Caro- ' Jr Jr 

tina ' lina, the other to the people of the other 


The first of these affirms that the general government 
is not national; that it is the creation of the states; that 
it is only an agent with limited and defined powers, and 
to be looked upon as the issue of a treaty between inde- 
pendent sovereigns: that there is no such body as "the 
people of the United States" known to the laws ; that the 
states may resume the powers they have delegated; 
that the Supreme Court is merely a creature of the gov- 
ernment, and not an umpire ; that it is no tribunal for 
settling constitutional questions ; that resistance is a 
constitutional right ; and that the primary allegiance of 
a citizen is due to his state. 

In the second it is affirmed that South Carolina seeks 
And to the people nothing more than to preserve the Constitu- 
of other states. ^ on ^ an d thereby the Union; that she will 

never submit to this system of taxation, nor to injustice 
and oppression. A uniform duty on all foreign articles 
is what she demands, and she will never submit to mil- 
itary coercion. 

The intention of this movement was to bring on an is- 
_ ,. _ .. . sue between the United States and South 

South Carolina m- 

S?on% f ne c ijni d ted Carolina, the latter venturing to set herself 
states. j n ^.j ie ^titude of a sovereign and equal, and 


to constitute herself the judge of the question. That 
there might be no opportunity for Congress to carry into 
effect its intention of readjusting the tariff, and thereby 
gratify what was obviously the national wish, the Legis- 
lature proceeded to pass the acts necessary to give the 
ordinance effect, and the first day of the ensuing Febru^ 
ary was appointed for it to go into operation. 

In a few days after this ordinance reached him, Presi- 
dent Jackson issued a proclamation, examining in detail 
the assumed veto of a state, and its right to secede from 
the Union. He had already ordered General Scott to 
Charleston, and had made military and naval dispositions 
to assert the authority of the United States in that city. 

He declared " that the doctrine of a state veto upon 

the laws of the Union carries wdth it internal 

issues a prociama- evidence of its impracticable absurdity." As 

tion. t x *> 

to secession, he says : " The Constitution of 
the United States forms a government, not a league. It 
is a government in which the people are represented, 
which operates directly upon the people individually, 
not upon the states. Each state, having expressly parted 
with so many powers as to constitute jointly with other 
states a single nation, can not from that period possess 
any right to secede, because such secession does not break 
a league, but destroys the unity of a nation." 

Enforcing the foregoing assertions by arguments, he 
He denounces se- then addresses the people of South Carolina, 
cession. j^ g a na ti ve state," in earnest expostulation 

and entreaty : " Let me tell you, my countrymen, that you 
are deluded by men who are either deceived themselves, 
or wish to deceive you. Mark under what pretenses you 
have been led on to the brink of insurrection and treason 
on which you stand." " Eloquent appeals to your pas- 
sions, to your state pride, to your native courage, to your 
sense of real injury, were used to prepare you for the pe- 


riod when the mask which concealed the hideous features 
of disunion should be taken off. Look back to the arts 
which have brought you to this state; look forward to 
the consequences to which it must eventually lead." 
" You are not an oppressed people, contending, as they re- 
peat to you, against worse than colonial vassalage ; you 
are free members of a flourishing and happy union. 
There is no settled design to oppress you. You have, in- 
deed, felt the unequal operation of laws which may have 
been unwisely, but not unconstitutionally passed. But 
that inequality must necessarily be removed. At the 
very moment when you were madly urged on to the un- 
fortunate course you have begun, a change in public 
opinion had commenced ; but, as if apprehensive of the 
effect of this change in allaying your discontent, you were 
precipitated into the fearful state in which you now find 

"The dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to 

announce that you can not succeed. The 

cessiSJcan no s tbe laws of the United States must be executed. 

peaceably accom- T -. ■■ . . . ... -. 

pushed, but means 1 nave no discretionary power on the sub- 

war * 

ject; my duty is emphatically pronounced 
in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might 
peaceably prevent their execution deceived you; they 
could not have deceived themselves. They know that a 
forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of 
the laws, and they know that such opposition must be re- 
pelled. Their object is disunion. Be not deceived by 

names: disunion by armed force is treason. 

That secession is A i j • »i -i , n -rn 

treason, and will Are you ready to incur its guilt? Ji you 

bring its penalties. . , i -it p n • • > /,i 

are, on the heads 01 the instigators 01 the 
act be the dreadful consequences — on their heads be the 
dishonor, but on yours may fall the punishment. On 
your unhappy state will inevitably fall all the evils of 
the conflict you force upon the government of your coun- 


try. It can not accede to the mad project of disunion, of 
which you would be the first victims ; its first magistrate 
can not, if he would, avoid the performance of his duty." 

He then adjures them, in the most fervent language, 
not to be the authors of the first attack on the Constitu- 
tion of their country : " Its destroyers you can not be. 
You may disturb its peace, you may interrupt the course 
of its prosperity, you may cloud its reputation for stabili- 
ty, but its tranquillity will be restored, its prosperity will 
return, and the stain upon its national character will be 
transferred to and remain an eternal blot on the memory 
of those who caused the disorder." 

Then, addressing the people of the United States, he 
„ „ „ iustifies to them the necessity of his procla- 

He calls on the peo- *> , 

Itite^tosupport niation, and adds : " I rely with equal confi- 
dence on your undivided support in my de- 
termination to execute the laws, to preserve the Union 
by all constitutional means, to arrest, if possible, by mod- 
erate but firm measures, the necessity of a resort to force." 
In this proclamation, the President, without any hesita- 
tv „ tion, points out the true cause of the troubles 

Imputes the blame ' ± 

Ss t appo?n t tea U fm- of — tne machinations of disappointed political 
bitiousmen. aspirants, who, taking advantage of public 
discontents that were not without a just cause, were 
goading the Southern communities into disunion. On a 
subsequent occasion, referring to these events, he remark- 
ed : " The tariff was but a pretext. The next will be the 
Slavery or Negro Question." 

In the mean time South Carolina organized troops, and 

. . provided arms and munitions of war. Here- 
He recommends to -t 

Si jStcau 8es 1 Sf ve upon the President, early in January, made 
compiamt. a S p ec i a j communication to Congress, recom- 

mending the removal of all just causes of complaint, and 
setting forth the steps he had taken for vindicating the 
sovereignty of the nation against the insurgent state. He 

376 MR - CLAY'S COMPROMISE. [Sect. V. 

recognized clearly that the feeling of the dissatisfied peo- 
ple was just and reasonable, and that they simply wanted 
relief from what they considered to be a wrong ; but he 
also distinctly perceived that there were ambitious and 
disappointed politicians who were inflaming this discon- 
tent for ulterior and personal objects. Congress there- 
fore proceeded to apply the necessary remedies, though 
not without misgivings on the part of some that the mo- 
ment was inopportune when the protesting state was in 
an attitude of armed defiance. A proposition — Mr. Ver- 
planck's bill — had been for some time under discussion in 
the House — it contained large reductions and important 
equalizations of duties — when suddenly, on the evening of 
February 25th, as the members were preparing to retire, 
Mr. Letcher, of Kentucky, a friend of Mr. Clay, 

P'msip'P of* TVTt ■ 

ciay's compro- moved to strike out the whole of the Ver- 

mise. , , 

planck bill except the enacting clause, and in- 
sert in its stead a bill that had been offered in the Senate 
by Mr. Clay, since known as "the Compromise." Mr. Ben- 
ton, relating these circumstances, says : " The bill, which 
made its first appearance in the House late in the even- 
ing, when members were gathering up their overcoats for 
a walk home to dinner, was passed before those coats had 
got on the back, and the dinner, which was waiting, had 
but little time to cool, before the astonished members, 
their work done, were at the table to eat it." The vote 
being taken, the substitute forthwith passed by 119 to 85. 

The general principle of Mr. Clay's Compromise was, 
that one tenth of the excess over twenty per cent, of each 
existing impost was to be taken off at the close of the 
current year (1833), a second tenth after two years, and 
so on until 1842, when all duties should be reduced to a 
maximum of twenty per cent. 

But this arrangement was not effected without remon- 
strance. Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, protested against 

Chap, XXL] 



the whole proceedings, declaring " that the root of the 
discontent lay deeper than the tariff, and would continue 
when the tariff was forgotten." Mr. Calhoun himself had 
indicated his true sentiments in the Senate when he said, 
"Every Southern man true to the interests of his section, 
and faithful to the duties which Providence has allotted 
him, will be forever excluded from the honors and emolu- 
ments of the government." He had also said in reference 
to the " Force Bill," " To suppose that the entire power 
of the Union may be placed in the hands of this govern- 
ment, and that all the various interests in this widely-ex- 
tended country may be safely placed under the will of 
an unchecked majority, is the extreme of folly and mad- 
ness. The result would be inevitable that power would 
be exclusively centred in the dominant interest north of 
this river (the Potomac), and that all the south of it 
would be held as subjected provinces, to be controlled for 
the exclusive benefit of the stronger section." 

Mr. Benton, in his work "Thirty Years' View," to 

which I have already referred, gives the " se- 

secret history of cret history of the Compromise of 1833." 

that Compromise. J . x 

He says substantially that Mr. Calhoun and 
Mr. Clay were early and long rival aspirants for the Pres- 
idency, and antagonistic leaders in opposite political sys- 
tems — the former for free trade, the latter for protection. 
The coalition between them in 1833 was only a hollow 
truce, embittered by the humiliation to which Mr. Cal- 
houn was subjected in the protective features of the 
" Compromise," and only kept alive for a few years by 
their mutual interest with respect to General Jackson 
and Mr. Van Buren. A rupture was foreseen by every 
observer ; and in a few years it took place, and in open 
Senate, in a way to give the key to the secret motives 
which led to that compromise. 

Attempts had been made by several senators to secure 


an understanding between Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Clay, 
who were not on speaking terms, with a view to such 
modifications in Mr. Clay's proposed Compromise as would 
make it more acceptable to its opponents, and aid in re- 
leasing South Carolina from her position. " These South 
Carolinians," said Mr. Clayton, of Delaware, " are acting 
very badly, but they are good fellows, arid it is a pity to 
let Jackson hang them." Mr. Webster, who had been 
applied to to lend his influence in the movement, entirely 
declined, saying, " It would be yielding great principles 
to faction, and that the time had come to test the strength 
of the Constitution and the government." An interview 
between Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Clay took place, but it fail- 
ed to produce the intended result. Meantime the Pres- 
ident, General Jackson, had determined that 

President Jack- i 11 »i ,• •• -i , -it 

sou's determina- he would " nave no negotiations, but would 
caihoun for trea- execute the laws." " He would admit of no 


farther delay, but was determined at once to 
take a decided course with Mr. Calhoun" — an arrest and 
trial for high treason being understood. Mr. Letcher, 
having discovered one night what was about to take 
place, went forthwith to Mr. Calhoun, found his way to 
him, though he had retired to bed, and informed him of 
his danger. " He was evidently disturbed." 

Mr. Benton goes on to relate the incidents attending 

the eventual passage of the bill. Both Mr. 
wasfoTea^ci?- Clay and Mr. Calhoun were compelled to 

cumstances on , • ■ • j i j i i 1 n , i 1 

both Mr. clay and accept it, with the amendments that had 

Mr. Calhoun. x ' iii r» i • 

been attached, though both 01 them, under 
the form it now presented, had the utmost reluctance to- 
do so. He adds that, "on an outside view of the measure, 
they appear as master spirits appeasing the storm they 
had raised ; on the inside view they appear as subaltern 
agents dominated by the necessities of their condition, 
and providing for themselves instead of their country" — 


Mr. Clay in saving the protective policy and preserving 
the support of the manufacturers, and Mr. Calhoun in 
securing himself from the perils of his position, and both 
in leaving themselves at liberty to act together in future 
against General Jackson and Mr. Van Buren. 

In his resolute course to put down Mr. Calhoun's Nul- 
lification movement General Jackson found 

In his acts the , . . 

ve r Si?iy n sus s ta 1 n?ed himself strengthened by the enthusiastic sup- 
by the people. ^ QY ^ Q f ^q people — even those who had 

been his opponents in the recent election vigorously sus- 
tained him. That support was unanimous in the North, 
and nearly so in the South. Virginia, indeed, sent a com- 
missioner to South Carolina, and her governor expressed 
an intention of resisting the passage of troops through 
his state. Shortly before February 1st, the 
SoSn h ce? a th auhe an " date appointed for carrying Nullification into 
measure! 1 are satis- effect, it was resolved at Charleston that in- 

factory to her, . . 

asmucn as measures were then pending in 
Congress contemplating such reduction of duties on im- 
ports as South Carolina had demanded, the execution of 
the nullifying ordinance and the consequent legislative 
acts should be postponed. The passage of the Compro- 

And recedes from mise tariff h J Congress took place toward 
Nullification. j^q close of February, and Nullification was 
abandoned by South Carolina. 

General Jackson, however, deeply disapproved of the 
course that had been taken, being of opinion that the fu- 
ture prosperity and safety of the republic would have 
been better consulted had the promoters of Nullification 
been held to a strict account. He never ceased to regret 
that he had not brought Mr. Calhoun to trial for treason. 
There can be no doubt that the manner in which the 
trouble was closed exerted a powerful and encouraging 
influence on the later secession movements of South Car- 
olina. Mr. Calhoun always asserted that the military at- 

380 CALHOUN. [Sect.V. 

titude of that state had intimidated the national govern- 

Mr. Calhoun, who thus took the lead in the Nullifica- 

The biography of ^ on movement, and, indeed, may be consid- 
Mr. camoun. ere( j ag fa e au t nor f Secession, was a South 

Carolinian by birth, but of Irish descent. At the age of 
twenty-nine he entered Congress. He promoted actively 
the war with England, the establishment of the United 
States Bank, internal improvements, and a protective tar- 
iff — that of 1816. During the presidency of Mr. Monroe 
he became Secretary of War, and in that capacity drew 
orders for General Jackson in the operations against the 
Seminoles. That general, headstrong and unbridled, was 
considered by Mr. Calhoun, in the seizure of Pensacola 
and other acts, to have violated his instructions, and to 
be worthy of being brought to trial. At that time those 
personages were regarded as among the more prominent 
future candidates for the Presidency — the one in civil, the 
other in military life. During Mr. Monroe's second term, 
a very influential portion of the party inclined to bring 
Mr. Calhoun forward for that great office ; but eventually 
the preference was given to the general, Mr. Calhoun be- 
ing nominated as Vice-President. No election for Presi- 
dent, however, being made, the House of Representatives 
chose Mr. Adams. On the expiry of his term, the original 
intention was carried out, General Jackson being elect- 
ed President, and Mr. Calhoun Vice-President. 

In these movements we perceive the crisis of Mr. Cal- 
houn's life. There can be no doubt that he 

His disappointed ,» n . i i ,i n • i i • 

expectations for felt very acutely the preference given to his 

the Presidency. • i -i i i • n 

military rival, and the bitterness between 
them was intensified by General Jackson's discovery of 
the course that had been pursued toward him in the mat- 
ter of the Seminole War. Up to this time the general 

Chap. XXI.] CALHOUN. 33 1 

supposed that Mr. Calhoun was his defender in the cabi- 
net in that affair ; now he found with surprise how com- 
pletely he had been mistaken. Irascible and impetuous, 
it could not be otherwise than that he should become 
Mr. Calhoun's mortal enemy. 

General Jackson's national popularity was so great 
„ . , that Mr. Calhoun saw the uselessness of at- 

He abandons na- 

adTo a cUes a 8tatS- d tempting any rivalry. At this time he had 
abandoned many of his early views. Among 
other things, he had ceased to look with favor on a pro- 
tective tariff; he had become a free-trader. Perhaps 
these changes led him insensibly to more important ones. 
He abandoned national ideas, and advocated state-rights. 
With a sentiment not unlike that imputed to Caesar, he 
had rather be the first man in the Slave States than the 
second man in the Union. 

Once satisfied that all farther hopes of national pre-em- 
„ . inence were at an end, he addressed himself 

He endeavors to 7 

w'th g th?SStion ue on with singular ability to the promotion of 
the Tariff Question, sec tionalism. He furnished the basis of the 
South Carolina Exposition, and, by his letter to Governor 
Hamilton, led to the Nullification movement. He be- 
lieved at this time that the South could be united on an 
anti-tariff resistance, and, though disappointed in the gen- 
eral result, always regarded his state as having substan- 
tially carried her point against the United States. Con- 
scious of the intrinsic weakness of the Slave Question in 
view of the recent acts of Great Britain in the West In- 
dies, and the general opinion of the civilized world, he 
was unwilling at first to jeopardize the institution, though 
it was quite certain that the South could be united upon 
it in a national controversy. 

Massachusetts, at that time still intellectually colonial, 
was powerfully affected by the Abolition movement in 
England, and proceeded to flood the South with inflam- 

382 CALHOUN. [Sect. V. 

matory publications. In accordance with the political 
views he now entertained, Mr. Calhoun asserted the right 
of each state to interpose and prevent their dissemination 
through the Post-office. On the presentation of abolition 
petitions to Congress, he would have had them rejected 
And then resorts to altogether. He brought about the annex- 
the siave Question. a ti on of Texas for the purpose of securing 
more slave territory. Clearly perceiving that the strength 
of the North lay in her population supplies, he denied 
the power of states to give a vote to aliens ; and for the 
purpose of removing the scruples of conscientious persons 
in the South, he taught them that slavery is not only not 
an evil, but an absolute good, and the surest foundation 
for political institutions. 

Thus thoroughly committed to the use of the Slave 
Question, and believing that the Union might without 
difficulty be divided upon it, he used every exertion to 
force the slavery issue on the North. Though at the 
time of the adoption of the Missouri Compromise he was 
in favor of it, his views had now so much changed that 
he promoted to the utmost its repeal. Having experi- 
enced the blighting of his early expectations through the 
military renown of General Jackson, he was thoroughly 
averse to the Mexican War. Such experiences as that of 
„ ■ Mr. Calhoun will always make civilians in 

He opposes the J 

Mexican war. eminent positions unfriendly to foreign wars, 
and keep the republic at peace. A war brings at once 
into political prominence a host of successful soldiers. 

Mr. Calhoun was not only a bitter opponent of the 
Wilmot Proviso, as might be expected, he was also the 
originator of the doctrine that the United States Consti- 
tution carried slavery with it into the Territories acquired 
by the Mexican "War. With logical fidelity to the prin- 
ciples that were now guiding him, he sought to accom- 
plish the organization of the Slave States ostensibly for 

Chap. XXL] CALHOUN. 3g3 

resisting Northern abolition, in reality for separation. 
His project of a His remedy for the declining influence of 
dual presidency. the g outll wag the establishment of a dual 

presidency, one President from the Free, the other from 
the Slave States. Not that his clear intellect for a mo- 
ment regarded such a scheme as offering any permanency ; 
he saw in it rather a ready and quiet means of insuring 
secession and final separation. 

His biographers relate that, while he was yet a youth 
at Yale College, the president of that institution, struck 
with his singular merit, remarked that he had " ability 
enough to be President of the United States." Perhaps 
that incident gave a color to all his subsequent life. 
From the days of his early inclinations to the New En- 
gland politicians for the purpose of breaking down the 
Virginia dynasty, which had become intolerable to all 
portions of the country, to the close of his life (1850), all 
his exertions were directed to the attainment of headship 
— national, if possible ; if not, sectional. Conscious of his 
own powers, he looked with disdain upon the line of pres- 
idents who succeeded to Mr. Monroe. 

From his literary remains, collected and published by 
Mr. Cralle, we perceive without difficulty how it was that 
Mr. Calhoun exerted so much influence in his native state. 
His ideas were in sympathy with her aspirations. They 
are expressed in simple and forcible language, with but 
little ornament. As was said by Mr. Butler in his eulo- 
gium upon him in the Senate, " He had the quality of in- 
spiring confidence — the highest of earthly qualities." Vir- 
ms virtuous pri- tuous and just, he died, not wealthy, after 
vate character. f 01 ^y years' responsible connection with the 


The life of Mr. Calhoun, perhaps more truly than 
The logical char- that of any other eminent American of his 
acterofhisiife. times, may be said to have been a strictly 

384 CALHOUN. [Sect.V. 

logical one. When we compare his views in 1811, at his 
first appearance, with those at his death, how wide and 
how melancholy the difference ! It is the decline of pa- 
triotism into secession. Not without interest do we ob- 
serve the successive phases through which he passes; they 
manifest the pressure of exterior influences on an honor- 
able but disappointed ambition. 



The South, finding it necessary to secure new states for the preservation of the bal- 
ance of power in the Union, resolved on the annexation of Texas, an adjoining 
province of Mexico. It was seized by adventurers from the Slave States, who es- 
tablished it as an independent republic. It then applied for admission as a state 
into the Union, and, in spite of a strenuous opposition from the North, that meas- 
ure was carried into effect. 

Geneeal Jackson, in a letter written in 1843, accused 
. T , ' the administration of President Monroe of 

General Jackson's 

tnebonnSaryof having voluntarily surrendered to Spain, at 
Louisiana. - the time tf the cess i on f Florida, all that 

fertile tract of country which, facing the Gulf of Mexico, 
is included between the Sabine and the Rio Grande. He 
said: "Soon after my election (to the Presidency), in 
1829, it was made known to me by Mr. Erwin, formerly 
our minister at the court of Madrid, that while at that 
court he had laid the foundation of a treaty with Spain 
for the cession of the Floridas and the settlement of the 
boundary of Louisiana, fixing the western limit of the lat- 
ter at the Rio Grande, agreeably to the understanding of 
France ; that he had written home to our government for 
powers to complete and sign this negotiation ; but that, 
instead of receiving such authority, the negotiation was 
„ . . .. /._ taken out of his hands and transferred to 

He states that Tex- 

fesdy d 8u??endered Washington, and a new treaty was there con-, 
eluded, by which the Sabine, and not the Eio 
Grande, was recognized and established as the boundary 
of Louisiana. Finding that these statements were true, 
and that our government did really give up that import- 
ant territory when it was at its option to retain it, I was 
I— B B 

386 TEXAS. [Sect.V. 

filled with astonishment. The right to the territory was 
obtained from France. Spain stood ready to acknowl- 
edge it to the Rio Grande ; and yet the authority asked 
by our minister was not only withheld, but, in lieu of it, 
a limit was adopted which stripped us of the whole of 
the vast country lying between the two rivers." He add- 
ed: "I could not but feel that the surrender of so vast and 
important a territory was attributable to an erroneous 
estimate of the tendency of our institutions, in which 
there was mingled somewhat of jealousy as to the rising 
greatness of the South and West." It must, however, be 
remarked, that this opinion seems not to be justified 
when we remember that the alleged surrender was made 
by a Southern President, and that the attempt to pur- 
chase Texas, presently to be alluded to, was made in 1827 
by Mr. Adams, who was from the North. 

Texas, the country in question, under these circum- 
it had become a stances became a part of Mexico. In 1820, 
portion of Mexico. ]\/[ oses Austin, a resident of Missouri, obtain- 
ed the privilege of settling in it, under the plea of being 
a Roman Catholic persecuted by Protestants. Dying pre- 
maturely, his son, Stephen F. Austin, carried out his in- 
tention, and thus the Americans obtained a foothold in 
the country. 

Attempts were now made by the American govern- 
' u i , ment, in 1827 and 1829, to purchase Texas 

Abortive attempts ' 1 ± 

to purchase it. ^ om Mexico. They were ineffectual. It 

was obvious, however, that the possession of it was abso- 

. , a lutely necessary to the South, in order that 

Its possession had *> J ' 

to tKiv^sJstem ner system might have freedom of expansion 
of the south. westwardly, and an equipoise be maintained 
with the North in Congress. Adventurers from the 
neighboring Slave States were therefore encouraged by 
the prevailing public sentiment to emigrate to it, with 
the intention of detaching it forcibly from Mexico. That 


southern adven- republic, torn by internal dissensions, was so 
turers settle in it. ^tle able to counteract their movements, 
that in 1836, when the independence of Texas was pro- 
claimed, the resistance that could be made was altogether 
insignificant. Nevertheless, the Texans were defeated at 
the Alamo and Goliad, and those of them who were 
taken prisoners of war were atrociously murdered in cold 
blood. At the San Jacinto they were avenged, the Mex- 
icans being surprised while passing the river, and not 
They wrest it ford- on ly totally defeated, but Santa Anna, their 
bi y from Mexico. commanc [ er? the President of their republic, 

taken prisoner. The character of this conflict may be un- 
derstood from the statement that the Mexican killed were 
630, the wounded 208. 

Santa Anna, at the mercy of his conqueror, General 
Houston, who was a Virginian by birth, was 

The President of . * _ . ° J 7 

Mexico, resisting, thus constrained m his extremity to acknowl- 

is taken prisoner, J 

a?kno°3ge ?ts° edge the independence of Texas. Hereupon 
he was liberated, and the new republic es- 
tablished in October, 1836, with a Constitution modeled 
on that of the United States, and with Gen- 

The United States t tt . • , t • . n . t» • 

acknowledge its eral Houston inaugurated as its first Jrresi- 
dent. The United States forthwith acknowl- 
edged its independence. 

In less than a year application was made to the United 
States government to receive the new repub- 

It makes applica- -. . . . . -■ XT . i , i i , t • , 

tion to he admitted lie into the Union, and, though this was at 

into the Union. . \ °. 

the time declined, it was obvious that the 
question was destined to play a most important part in 
American civil policy. The North saw in the whole 
movement a predetermined attempt at the extension of 
slavery, and in the invasive emigration, the revolt, the 
proclamation of independence, the temporary organiza- 
tion of a republic, and the application to be admitted 
into the Union as a state, successive steps of a conspiracy, 


The annexation is wllicn would, through the creation of half a 
at first decimed. <j oze n or more new states, give a preponder- 
ance to the slave power in the republic. 

Mr. Van Buren, who had declined the overtures for the 
annexation of Texas, was succeeded in the Presidency by 
General Harrison, who, dying almost immediately after 
his inauguration, was followed by the Vice-President, Mr. 
Tyler, a Virginian, and a supporter of extreme Southern 
principles. The annexation project was now steadily 
pressed forward, but, owing to the difficult circumstances 
under which Mr. Tyler was placed, and dissensions arising 
in the party that had elected him, nothing decisive could 
be done until 1844, when Mr. Upshur, the Secretary of 
State, being accidentally killed by the bursting of a can- 
non, Mr. Calhoun succeeded him. A treaty of annexation 
was at once arranged, but, on being submitted to the Sen- 
ate, was rejected. 

Undiscouraged by this result, the South at once de- 
-•■;■.. termined to make annexation the touchstone 

It is made a test 

•foliowin-presl i n the coming Presidential election. The 
dentiai election. Legislatures of several of the Cotton States 

began to move vigorously in the matter : that of Missis- 
sippi declared, adopting the report of a committee of its 

The Mississippi ^ 0( iy ? that "the committee feel authorized 
Resolutions, j. Q ga y ^at s i avei y i s cherished by our con- 
stituents as the very palladium of their prosperity and 
happiness, and, whatever ignorant fanatics may elsewhere 
conjecture, the committee are fully assured, upon the most 
diligent observation and reflection on the subject, that the 
South does not possess within her limits a blessing with 
which the affections of her people are so closely entwined 
and so completely enfibred ;" " the Northern States have 
no interests of their own which require any special safe- 
guards for their defense, save only their domestic manu- 
factures, and God knows they have already received pro- 


tection from government on a most liberal scale, under 
which encouragement they have improved and flourished 
beyond example. The South has very peculiar interests 
to preserve, already violently assailed and boldly threat- 
ened. Your committee are fully persuaded that this 
The slave power in- protection to her best interests will be" af- 
sists on annexation. f or( j e( j ^y ^ e annexation of Texas; an equi- 
poise of influence in the halls of Congress will be secured, 
which will furnish us with a permanent guarantee of pro- 

In the same spirit Mr. Wise, of Virginia, said, in the 
House of Representatives : " True, if Iowa be added on 
the one side, Florida will be added on the other, but 
there the equation must stop. Let one more Northern 
state be added, and the equilibrium is gone — gone for- 
ever. The balance of interests is gone, the safeguard of 
American prosperity, of the American Constitution, of 
the American Union, vanished into thin air. This must 
be the inevitable result, unless, by a treaty with Mexico, 
the South can add more weight to her end of the lever. 
Let the South stop at the Sabine, while the North may 
spread unchecked beyond the Rocky Mountains, and the 
Southern scale must kick the beam." 

But these movements did not take place without re- 
views of ex-presi- distance. Ex-President John Quincy Adams, 
iTa^on" ttfsub- and other members of Congress, issued an 
address, in which they said that the annexa- 
tion of Texas was being forced forward " by that large 
portion of the country interested in domestic slavery and 
the slave-trade ;" that " it was intended, by the admission 
of new Slave States, to secure undue ascendency for the 
slaveholding power in the government, and rivet that 
power beyond all redemption ; that, with these views, 
settlements had been made in the province by citizens of 
the United States, difficulties fomented with the Mexican 


government, a revolt brought about, and an independent 
government declared ; that the attempts of Mexico to re- 
duce her revolted province to obedience have proved un- 
successful because of the unlawful aid of designing and 
interested citizens of the United States ; and that the di- 
rect and indirect co-operation of our own government, 
with similar views, is not the less certain and demonstra- 
ble." "The open enlistment of troops in several states 
of this Union in aid of the Texan revolution ; the intru- 
sion of an American army by the order of the President 
under a false pretense, but in reality in behalf of the in- 
surgents; the entire neglect of government to prevent 
unwarrantable aggressions of our own citizens, enlisted, 
it is denounced as organized, and officered in our own borders, 
fyin^KisToSuon and marched in arms into the territory of 

of the Union. n • -m t r\ > 

a friendly government; the premature rec- 
ognition of the independence of Texas ; the open avow- 
al of the Texans themselves ; the frequent and anxious 
negotiations of our own government ; the resolutions of 
various states of the Union ; the numerous declarations 
of members of Congress ; the tone of the Southern press, 
as well as the direct application of the Texan govern- 
ment, make it impossible for any man to doubt that an- 
nexation and the formation of several slaveholding states 
were originally the policy and design of the slaveholding 
states and the executive of the nation. Their objects 
were the perpetuation of slavery and the continual as- 
cendency of the slave power." 

" We hesitate not to say that annexation effected by 
any act or proceeding of the federal government, or any 
of its departments, would be identical with dissolution. 
It would be a violation of our national compact, its ob- 
jects, designs, and the great elementary principles which 
entered into its formation, of a character so deep and fun- 
damental, and would be an attempt to eternize an insti- 

)hap. XXIL] disapproval of clay and van buren. 


tution and a power of a nature so unjust in themselves, 
so injurious to the interests and abhorrent to the feelings 
of the people of the Free States, as, in our opinion, not 
only inevitably to result in a dissolution of the Union, 
but fully to justify it ; and we not only assert that the 
people of the Free States ought not to submit to it, but 
we say, with confidence, that they would not submit to it." 

The reader will here remark that threats of a dissolu- 
tion of the Union were resorted to by the North as well 
as by the South when it suited the purpose. Mr. Quincy, 
in 1811, had indulged in such menaces. The Hartford 
Convention was suspected of preparing to carry them into 
execution. They are brought forward again in these 
Texan movements. 

But the South was resolved to consummate her inten- 
tion, and that without delay. Mr. Van Bu- 

Determination of -, -. T -~ n tl . . i • i -j 

the south to secure ren and Mr. (Jlav, the prominent candidates 

Texas. J \ x . 

of the two opposing parties for the Presi- 
dency, were compelled to make known their views pre- 
viously to the meeting of the nominating Conventions. 
They had a private understanding with each other, and 
mutually agreed upon discountenancing the annexation 
scheme. Mr. Van Buren pointed out that the annexa- 
tion of Texas would, in all human probabil- 
ity, draw after it a war with Mexico, and 
asked, " Can it be expedient, under such circumstances, 
to attempt it ? Can we hope to stand perfectly justified 
in the eyes of mankind for entering into it, more especial- 
ly if its commencement is to be preceded by the appro- 
priation to our uses of the Territory V 

Mr. Clay said in reference to reannexation : "It is 
therefore perfectly idle and ridiculous, if not 
dishonorable, to talk of resuming our title 
to Texas as if we had never parted with it. We can no 
more do that than Spain can resume Florida, France Lou- 

Opinions of Mr. 
Vau Buren. 

Opinions of Mr. 

392 ELECTION OF MR. POLK. [Sect. V. 

isiana, or Great Britain the thirteen colonies now com- 
prising a part of the United States." " I conceive that 
no motive for the acquisition of foreign territory could 
be more unfortunate, or pregnant with more fatal conse- 
quences, than that of obtaining it for the purpose of 
strengthening one part against another part of the com- 
mon confederacy. Such a principle, put into practical 
operation, would menace the existence, if it did not cer- 
tainly sow the seeds of a dissolution of the Union." " I 
consider the annexation of Texas at this time without the 
consent of Mexico as a measure compromising the na- 
tional character; involving us certainly in a war with 
Mexico, probably with other foreign powers ; dangerous 
to the integrity of the Union, inexpedient in the present 
financial condition of the country, and not called for by 
any general expression of public opinion." 

Mr. Benton, in a speech in the Senate, declared: "I 
opinions of Mr. wash my hands of all attempts to dismem- 
Benton. ^ er ^ Q Mexican republic by seizing (under 

the designation of Texas) her dominions in New Mexico — 
Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas. The treaty, in 
all that relates to the boundary of the Rio Grande, is an 
act of unparalleled outrage on Mexico. It is the seizure 
of two thousand miles of her territory without a word of 
explanation with her, and by virtue of a treaty with Tex- 
as to which she is no party." 

In vain, when it was too late, Mr. Clay endeavored to 
recede from his position ; his attempt only served to 
make the matter worse, and cost him the support of the 
anti-slavery party, whose votes would have elected him. 
As to Mr. Van Buren, he did not so much as 
PresStloSe receive a nomination, the Democratic party 

purpose of carrying ... -, . . -■ -, t j* 

annexation into ef- putting mm aside, and selecting a compara- 
tively unknown person — Mr. Polk. It de- 
clared its measures to be " the reoccupation of Oregon 


and reannexation of Texas at the earliest possible pe- 

But, decisive as was this action, the Annexationists 

would not so much as endure the delay until Mr. Polk's 

inauguration. On the assembling of Congress, a dispatch 

Mr camoun's from Mr. Calhoun, the Secretary of State, to 

French dispatch. ^ g-j^ ^ mmister ^ p^ wag J^ fo 

fore it. In this the attention of the French government 
is drawn to the advantages that would arise from the 
proposed annexation in strengthening slavery in the 
United States, and thereby thwarting the intentions of 
England, whose fanaticism Mr. Calhoun declared was in- 
tent on reducing America to the ruined condition of her 
own West India possessions. On December 19th a joint 
resolution was introduced into the House of Eepresenta- 
tives providing for annexation. Attempts were made to 
it .. ,, , secure half the country for free labor, the 

Abortive attempt J ' 

ofTexas^orTee- 011 other half being resigned to slavery, by a 
line commencing between Galveston and 
Matagorda Bay, and running northwestwardly, so as to 
divide the Territory as nearly as possible into two equal 
parts. In the portion lying to the southwest it was 
proposed that there should be neither slavery nor invol- 
untary servitude except for the punishment of crime. 
This proposition was, however, defeated. In due time 
the joint resolution went to the Senate, and was there 
amended by the adoption of what was known as Mr. 
Walker's resolutions. Thus modified, it was returned to 
the House and concurred in. As the measure eventually 
stood, it made suitable provision for the mode in which 
the " State of Texas" should be admitted into the Union, 
the disposal of its munitions of war, public property, un- 
appropriated lands, debts. On the main point it was ar- 
ranged that new states, not exceeding four in number, 
in addition to Texas proper, should subsequently be 

394 TEXAS ANNEXED. [Sect.V. 

made out of its territory, those lying south of latitude 
36° 3(y to be admitted with or without slavery, as their 
people might desire ; in those north of that line, slavery 
to be prohibited. 

Mr. Tyler, on the last day of his term of office, unwill- 
„ . . . _ _ ins; to leave to his successor, Mr. Polk, the 

President Tyler O 7 7 

SSTSute^SSa- nonor of completing this^ great Southern 
tl0U ' measure, dispatched a swift messenger to 

Texas; her assent was duly secured, and the Mexican 
province became a state of the Union. 

But the circumstances and conditions under which this 
A , +u . had been done left a profound dissatisfaction 

And the slave -t 

Smffsl? i n tne North. The portion of territory ceded 
object. ^ Q -fr. ee( j om (j^ no ^ belong to Texas ; her 

boundary did not approach within 200 miles of the Mis- 
souri Compromise line. The South had therefore secured 
the whole of the new acquisition ; she had seized the sub- 
stance, and had deluded the North with a shadow. 



The annexation of Texas was resisted by Mexico, and war declared by the United 
States. Mexico was invaded, its metropolis captured, and a treaty of peace ex- 
torted. A discussion arose as to the condition of the acquired territory. The 
Wilmot Proviso proposed to exclude slavery from it ; the South insisted that the 
Constitution of the United States carried slavery into it. 

Discovery of gold in California, its political and social consequences. The dispute 
respecting the acquired Territory was closed by the Compromise of 1 850. In- 
dignation was excited in the Free States by the operation of the Fugitive Slave 
Law, and ominous forebodings were entertained as to the political tendencies of 
the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The annexation of Texas accomplished, General Taylor, 
the United States commander in the South- 

The annexation of . • i l i i j it t» • 

Texas brings on a west, received orders to advance to the Kio 

war with Mexico. . 7 * oi n . • i i t 

Grande, feuch was the impoverished and 
distracted condition of Mexico that she apparently con- 
templated no retaliation for the injury she had sustained, 
and, had the American army remained at the Nueces, a 
conflict might perhaps have been avoided. But, on Tay- 
lor's approaching the Rio Grande, a combat ensued at Palo 
Alto with Arista, the Mexican commander, who crossed 
over that stream. It ended in the defeat of the Mexi- 
cans, and the next day another engagement took place at 
Resaca de la Palma, with the same result. These actions 
eventually assumed considerable political importance. 
They were among the causes of General Taylor's subse- 
quent elevation to the Presidency. 

As soon as intelligence of what had occurred reached 
its declaration by Washington, President Polk, forgetting that 

the United States. ^ au t nor f a war Jg no t he who begins it, 

but he who has made it necessary, addressed a special 
message to Congress announcing that the Mexicans " had 

396 WAR WITH MEXICO. [Skct.V. 

at last invaded our territory, and shed the blood of our 
fellow-citizens on our own soil." Congress at once (May 
13th, 1846) passed an act providing money and men. 
Its preamble stated, " Whereas, by the act of the Repub- 
lic of Mexico, a state of war exists between that country 
and the United States, be it enacted, etc. 

As long previously as 1843,Mr.Bocanegra,the Mexican 
The res onsibiiit Minister of Foreign Relations, had formally 
upon th^Eel 8 notified the American government that the 
states. annexation of Texas would inevitably lead 

to war. General Almonte, the Mexican minister at Wash- 
ington, in a note to Mr. Upshur, the Secretary of State, 
said that, " in the name of his nation, and now for them, 
he protests, in the most solemn manner, against such an 
aggression ; and he moreover declares, by express order 
of his government, that, on sanction being given by the 
executive of the Union to the incorporation of Texas into 
the United States, he will consider his mission ended, see- 
ing that, as the Secretary of State will have learned, the 
Mexican government is resolved to declare war as soon 
as it receives intimation of such an act." 

War being thus provoked by the American govern- 
ment, General Scott received orders (Novem- 
cSrSptSreofvSa ber 18th, 1846) to take command of the ex- 

Cruz, Cerro Gordo. \ -i -i /» ,i • • r»n/r 

pedition intended for the invasion of Mexico. 
It was not, however, until March 7th of the following 
year that his forces appeared before Vera Cruz. Twelve 
thousand men were landed in a single evening, the Mexi- 
cans making no resistance. Through the shifting sands 
and thickets of chaparral siege-lines were completed, and 
in fifteen days the place surrendered, five thousand pris- 
oners and five hundred pieces of cannon being taken. 
Scott now commenced his march to Mexico along the 
national road, through a beautiful country abounding in 
magnificent scenery. At a distance on the left was the 

Chap. XXIII.] 



received, and the 
march to Mexico 

great volcano Orizaba, its white peaks entering the region 
of eternal snow. Approaching the heights of Cerro Gor- 
do, he found that they were occupied by the Mexican Gen- 
eral Santa Anna with 15,000 men. The Americans cut 
a road through the forest round the base of the mountain, 
and in the darkness of the night dragged cannon by main 
force up the precipices, thus gaining unobserved the rear 
The march to °^ ^ ne Mexicans. In the attack that ensued 
puehia. flig position was forced, 3000 prisoners and 

43 guns being captured. Resuming their advance, the Cas- 
tle of Perote was taken, and the town of Puebla occupied. 
By these operations, Scott's army, on its entrance into 
Puebla, was reduced to 4290 men, with thir- 
teen pieces of artillery. Too weak to ad- 
vance farther, and, indeed, unable to main- 
tain his communications with Vera Cruz, the American 
general was compelled to remain here until August 7th, 
waiting for re-enforcements. By that time his strength 
had increased to nearly 11,000 men. It was not the plan 
of the Mexicans to resist him step by step. Points at 
which that might have been done advantageously were 
neglected. The invading army, finding no force in front, 
marched through the Pass of Rio Frio — a pass which 
takes its name from an ice-cold streamlet of crystal clear- 
ness coming down from the mountain snows, and where 
the beetling rocks overhang and command the road. 
Here, though within the tropic, so great is the elevation 
— ten thousand feet above the level of the sea — that 
the aspect of Nature is like that of gelid climes, and the 
air is chilled by the snows on Popocatapetl and Iztac- 
cihuatl, volcanoes that rise to a height of eighteen thou- 
sand feet. Scott continued his march unmolested past 
the ruins of Cholula, in the time of the Aztecs a great 
and venerable city. The crest of the mountains gained, 
the Valley of Mexico lay at his feet. 


This valley is formed by a divergence of the grand 
chain of the Cordilleras into two branches, which reunite 
again toward the north, and embrace in their porphyritic 
curve an inclosure sixty miles in length north and south, 
forty miles wide east and west. The water descending 
from the mountain-sides collects in a series of lakes, there 
being no drainage outlet except through an insignificant 
brook. The city of Mexico, with its steeples 

Position of the city. ,, . . " , • j , n ,i n 

and domes, is m the midst of the valley, sur- 
rounded with picturesque fields and beautiful country 
seats. The snowy peaks of the neighboring volcanoes 
detain the departing rays of the evening sun, and aid in 
making the place a cool Paradise in the torrid zone. 

To avoid El Penon, and other strong works in front, 
occupied in force by the Mexicans, the Americans now 
left the national road, along which they had thus far ad- 
vanced, and cutting, as they had done at Cerro Gordo, a 
new route beyond the Lakes of Chalco and Xochimilco, 
gained the Acapulco road. A night movement enabled 
them to throw three brigades into the rear of a strong 
opposing force at the hamlet of Contreras. " But what 
Actions at contre- a horrible night !" says one of the officers. 
ras, cnurubusco. a There we i ay? to o tired to eat, too wet to 

sleep, in the middle of that muddy road, officers and men 
side by side, with a heavy rain pouring down upon us, 
the officers without blankets or overcoats, and the men 
worn out with fatigue. About midnight the rain was so 
heavy that the streams in the road flooded us, and there 
we stood, crowded together, drenched and benumbed, 
waiting till daylight." 

But when daylight on the 20th of August did come, 
the Mexican position was stormed, and, after a conflict of 
seventeen minutes, was carried. San Antonio was cap- 
tured, the fortified post of Churubusco was assaulted and 
gained, and the causeways leading to the city of Mexico 


opened. In these operations the American loss in killed, 
wounded, and missing was 1053. The Mexican loss was 
four times as great, and thirty-seven guns were taken. 

Delayed by an armistice and abortive negotiations for 
chapuitepec. cap- peace, it was not until September 7th that 
Scott renewed active operations for the pos- 
session of Chapultepec, a porphyritic rock commanding 
the city of Mexico. The Aztec princes in old times, and 
the Spanish viceroys more recently, had made their resi- 
dence on this charming spot. It was now the site of a 
military college. It is a hill 150 feet in height, surmount- 
ed by a castle with thick stone walls, the wings, bastions, 
parapets, redoubts, and batteries being all very strongly 

Two formidable outworks, Molino del Key and Casa de 
Mata, were carried, though with very severe loss. The 
castle itself was taken by storm, its ditches having been 
bridged, its walls scaled. On September 14th, 1847, the 
flag of the United States was hoisted on the national 
palace of Mexico, and Scott made his triumphant entry 
at the head of less than 6000 troops. 

In the treaty that ensued, New Mexico and Upper Cal- 
The treaty of ifornia were ceded to the United States, and 
the lower Rio Grande, from its mouth to El 
Paso, was taken as the boundary of Texas. On the other 
hand, the United States agreed to pay fifteen millions of 
dollars in five annual installments. The claims of Amer- 
ican citizens against Mexico, not exceeding three and a 
quarter millions of dollars, were also assumed. 

Such were the results of the military operations. 
Meanwhile President Polk, foreseeing the issue, had made 
application to Congress for money to be placed at his dis- 
posal with a view of obtaining from Mexico territory be- 
yond the Rio Grande. At once arose the question which 
had already so frequently given origin to perilous dissen- 


sion, What should be the character of the 
fteldom s or°8iavei7 new Territory, free or slave ? The North was 

in the acquired i i /y» i i i j_i • i • i l 

territory at once deeply onended by the manner in which she 

ariSeS# 1 "I 1 "I 1 • 1 • 1 

had been dealt with m the arrangement of 
the Texan territory, and now applied to the South her 
own arguments. The South had said that, in the case of 
the Northwestern Territory, the local law of Virginia, to 
which that Territory was affirmed to belong, dedicated it 
to slavery, and that, in a similar manner, local law estab- 
lished slavery in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida. 
But Mexico had long previously abolished slavery, and 
therefore, by her local law, all territory acquired from her 
must necessarily be free. On the other hand, the South, 

accommodating herself to the changed cir- 

Mr. Calhoun's doc- ^ , -. . /» 

trine in behalf of cumstances oi the case, at the suggestion 01 
Mr. Calhoun, affirmed that the United States 
Constitution carried with it slavery into the new Terri- 

The feeling and purpose of the North were plainly 
seen in an amendment to the bill, making the pecuniary 
provision asked for by Mr. Polk. It was offered by Mr. 
Wilmot, of Pennsylvania, whence the designation " Wil- 
The wiimot Pro- mo ^ Proviso," under which it is known. It 
viso - was as follows : "Provided that, as an express 

and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any ter- 
ritory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, 
by virtue of any treaty that may be negotiated between 
them, and to the use by the executive of the moneys 
herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary serv- 
itude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except 
for crime whereof the party shall first be duly convicted." 
The bill, however, failed. 

Before the next meeting of Congress the Presidential 
election had occurred, and to the causes of dissatisfaction 
which the Northern Democrats had with their allies in 

Chap. XXIII. ] CALIFORNIA. 40 1 

the Slave States was added the fact that eight out of fif- 
teen of those states had voted for General Taylor, the 
Whig candidate. On the question of the organization of 
the new Territories being resumed,, motions were offered 
to the effect that slavery should be excluded, and that the 
selling of slaves in the District of Columbia should be 
prohibited. But, though an attempt was made by the 
South to fasten the organization of the Territories of New 
Mexico and California to the Civil and Diplomatic Ap- 
propriation Bill, Congress eventually adjourned without 
having come to any determination. 

On General Taylor's accession to the Presidency (1849) 
the organization of California could be no 

General Taylor's -. • l r\ n ,, , 

accession to the longer postponed. Oregon, after an attempt 
on the part of the South to compel the rec- 
ognition that the Missouri Compromise line extended 
across the entire continent, had become a free Territory. 
The discovery of gold in California had led to its rapid 
settlement. New Mexico already possessed a population 
of sixty thousand. 

Under these circumstances, General Taylor, having sent 
an agent to California with a view to its or- 

Movements re- o 

ffon^flSffOTn?! 8 " ganization as a state, brought the subject be- 
as a state. £ ore Congress in his annual message, an- 
nouncing that the people of that Territory and of New 
Mexico would shortly apply for admission as a state, and 
recommending their application to favorable considera- 
tion. His intention was to leave the question of social 
condition, free or slave, to be settled by the inhabitants 
themselves, in this recognizing the principle of popular 

In correspondence with these movements, a Convention 
for the formation of a state Constitution was held in Cal- 
ifornia. It determined on the prohibition of slavery, but, 
as might have been expected when the application for 
I— C c 


admission came before Congress, it encountered resistance 
from the South. Eventually, however, after much discus- 
sion, a general plan of compromise suggested by Mr. Clay 
was adopted. It has attained celebrity under the desig- 
nation of "the Compromise of 1850." 

In the mean time California was rapidly settled. A 
Discovery of gold workman, building a saw-mill in January, 

in California. ^^ discovere( J par ticleS of gold in the 

mud; a farther search revealed the fact that Eldorado 
was found at last. Forthwith a stream of population set 
in, first from the adjoining Mexican countries, then from 
Oregon and the Sandwich Islands, the circle extending as 
the rumors were confirmed, and Peru, Chili, Australia, and 
even Asia becoming involved. The excitement in the 
United States rose to a mania. Early in 1849 multi- 
tudes made the journey across the continent, 

Influx of adven- . . -, . ■* . ~t n * 

turers at the gold encountering the great desert, and forcing 


their way over the Rocky Mountains. Very 
soon 4000 horsemen and 9000 wagons had gone through 
the Pass. So great were the perils and privations that 
the track was marked with skeletons. Some of the ad- 
venturers, preferring to encounter the dangers of the sea 
rather than the treachery of the Indians and the hard- 
ships of the land, went round Cape Horn. A new form 
of sailing-ship — the clipper — was invented to meet the 
need. Others tried the pestilential passage of the Isth- 
mus of Panama. In eighteen months one hundred thou- 
sand persons had gone from the United States. The Bay 
of San Francisco was all alive, and where this beautiful 
city now stands was an extemporaneous collection of 
shanties and tents, bowers and huts. Since the days 
when all the human race undertook to build the Tower 
of Babel, never has there been such a confused gabble of 
strange tongues. People from every nation under the 


sun swarmed together — some trafficking, some digging, 
many gambling. Ships were left sailorless in the har- 
bor ; their crews — sometimes, it is said, with their officers 
at their head — had run off to the mines. Occasions are 
mentioned in which captains of singular virtue had hand- 
cuffed or fettered their men to keep them. Judges 
stealthily left the bench to try their luck. The attorney 
general of the king of the Sandwich Islands joined in the 
rush. Every man was all things to himself; the hiring 
of labor was out of the question : the wages demanded 
were often from thirty to fifty dollars for a single day. 
organization of the Yet, as if by enchantment, this clamorous 

anarchy ceased, organization ensued, streets 
were laid out, houses built, stores erected, wharves made, 
roads constructed, municipal and state institutions estab- 
lished. It may be said that San Francisco was built 
over and over again, for it was repeatedly ravaged by 
fire. Not without difficulty, however, did law assert its 
supremacy in a population consisting of thousands of 
adult males, with scarcely any women. The New York 
speculators found to their cost that such a community af- 
forded but an indifferent market for the laces and rich 
silks they sent. It is said that pianos were actually sold 
for cupboards, there being no other demand for them. 
Expensive furniture came to unwonted uses in the tents 
and bowers of these canvas and leafy cities. 

Nor was this profusion and extravagance limited to 

California. New York, into which the gold 

Effect of the influx „ -^ . n -, . „ , - , ° _ 

of wealth on the oi fean t rancisco flowed, was infected bv the 

Atlantic cities. ' J 

example. Persons who had been steeped in 
poverty rose to affluence. They exchanged shanties for 
palatial residences ; the homeliest clothing for the latest 
Parisian fashions ; coarse crockery for silver plate. They 
brought vulgarity into the higher walks of life. In 1851, 
so frightful in California was the social condition — the 


courts derided ; the constabulary without 

Frightful social re- . i • i • r» 

vuisious in caiifor- power: assassinations and incendiary nres 

uia. . 

occurring in all directions, the perpetrators 
of these atrocities openly controlling elections, appoint- 
ments to office, and the administration of justice — that the 
more respectable citizens had to take matters into their 

own hands, and, forming a vigilance commit- 

A vigilance com- i • i • i '••••»- l t t , 

mittee forcibly se- tee, which administered rude and prompt 

cures order. . > . . . a - it 

justice by hanging, flogging, and expelling 
the more atrocious miscreants, secured better order for a 

From the report of the committee to examine a bill 
relative to a monetary Convention between 

Disturbance in the -p, t» t • t, i in»i i i •/ 

relative value of _b ranee, 13el2;mm, Italy, and Switzerland, it 

gold and silver. i • -ri i i it/y» 

appears that m France " the legal difference 
in the value of gold and silver had been in the propor- 
tion of 1 to 15^, 'and had so continued for nearly half a 
century. Silver was the usual money; gold, in small 
quantities, was at a premium. About the year 1835, by 
reason of improvements in refining, the five-franc silver 
pieces of the earlier coinage were hunted up and melted, 
to extract the gold they contained ; yet the relation be- 
tween silver and gold continued the same. But the dis- 
coveries of gold in Russia, California, and Australia be-' 
tween the years 1846 and 1850, brought gold abundant- 
ly into the European markets. The metal fell in value, 
and five-franc silver pieces were more than ever sought 
for. The government (French) observed this, and a com- 
mittee was appointed in 1850 to investigate the facts. 
M. Thiers was its chairman. The political troubles of 
the time, however, prevented action. The difference of 
value of the two metals increased, and speculators began 
to buy up the smaller silver coins. Two other circum- 
stances hastened the disappearance of silver from circula- 

Chap. XXIII.] COMPROMISE OF 1850. 495 

tion in France — the loss of silk- worms and the American 
Civil War, which compelled the purchase of silk and cot- 
ton from the East to keep the factories going; and, as 
silver is more valued in those distant lands, it was neces- 
sary to pay for those imports in silver, as France had no 
produce to exchange for them. There was yet another 
reason to make silver more valuable — the improvement 
in the circumstances of the laboring classes, which in- 
creased the necessity of small coin for change. A com- 
mittee in 1857, and another in. 1861, were commissioned 
to investigate the subject. It was shown that the yield 
of silver and gold from America, from the time of its dis- 
covery to 1846, was as two to one, whereas the yield is 
now three of gold to one of silver. It was also shown 
that the five-franc pieces had almost entirely passed out 
of circulation ; that the last issues of forty-three millions 
of francs in small coin, made since January 1st, 1856, were 
immediately absorbed by speculation." 

Although this committee expressed the opinion that 
there might be a great reflux of silver from Asia by rea- 
son of the sale of European manufactures, it is much more 
likely that a recovery of the equilibrium between the 
two metals, if accomplished at all, will be, as I have al- 
ready remarked (page 133), through the successful work- 
ing of the great silver deposits of the United States, and 
those of Mexico under American auspices. 

The chief features of the Compromise of 1850 were a 
The compromise pledge that Congress would faithfully exe- 
cute the compact with Texas respecting the 
formation of new states out of her territory ; the imme- 
diate admission of California into the Union ; the estab- 
lishment of New Mexico and Utah as Territories without 
the Wilmot Proviso — they were to embrace all the terri- 
tory recently acquired from Mexico not contained within 


the boundaries of California ; a pecuniary grant to Texas 
in consideration of the cession of certain territorial claims 
by her ; more effective provision for the securing of fugi- 
tive slaves. It abstained from the abolishing of slavery 
in the District of Columbia, but prohibited the slave- 
trade therein. 

The sum agreed upon to be paid to the State of Texas 
in virtue of this compromise was ten millions 

Dissatisfaction re- r>in t-vIjI ,i . i -i i , t 

specting the money ot dollars. Doubtless that had much to do 

to be paid to Texas. , 

with the passage of the whole measure. In 
the North it was denounced as the first instance known 
in the history of the republic of resorting to a bribe ; it , 
was affirmed that the territory supposed to be relin- 
quished by Texas had never belonged to her ; that it was 
detached from Mexico by the forces, and then bought by 
the money of the Union ; nor was the dissatisfaction less- 
ened by the concession for the recapture of fugitive slaves 
in the Free States. This dissatisfaction became indigna- 
tion when the resulting law was carried into effect. It 
denied to the fugitive the right of trial by jury ; it re- 
fused to admit his testimony as evidence ; it commanded 
all good citizens to aid and assist in the prompt arrest of 

the slave. Cases soon occurred which made 

Indignation arises n i • i i • • ■ a 

in the Free states a profound public impression. A negro was 

at the operation of - .. .. . , , » • § ' n 

the Fugitive siave shot dead m the act of attempting to nee 

Law. * o 

from the officer who had arrested him ; a 
mulatto leaped into the Susquehanna, exclaiming that he 
would rather be drowned than taken alive : he was shot 
in the head while attempting to screen himself in the 
water, but eventually escaped through the intervention 
of the by-standers ; a mulatto woman, only twenty-three 
years of age, overtaken in her flight through Ohio, in her 
extremity cut the throat of one of her children, a little 
girl who was nearly white, and then attempted to kill 
the other two. When secured and carried before the 


marshal, she avowed her determination to destroy them 
and then herself, if she were sent back into slavery. No 
wonder that the mothers in the free West became fanati- 
cal abolitionists ! It was affirmed that in one year after 
the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, more 

Effect of this senti- n . . . t • i i i • ,i 

ment on the dec- fugitive slaves were seized than in the pre- 

tions of 1856. t. . ^ - •• i j* 

ceding sixty years. Surprise has sometimes 
been expressed that the vote for the anti-slavery candi- 
date for the Presidency rose from 152,000 in 1852 to 
more than a million and a quarter (1,341,264) in 1856. 
There are occasions, however, when men renounce all con- 
siderations of political expediency, and are guided by the 
promptings of the heart. And this w r as one of them. 
The case of Dred Scott added not a little to the dif- 
fusion of those sentiments. This negro had 

The case of the © 

SSision r of the**' brought a suit for his freedom in one of the 

Supreme Court. ^^ of J^gg^ and ^ obtained a judg 

ment in his favor. A higher court of that state reversed 
the decision, and an appeal was taken to the Supreme 
Court of the United States, the case being tried in 1854. 
It was not so much the hardship under which Dred Scott 
suffered, as the decision of the court, delivered by Judge 
Taney, the Chief Justice of the United States, that arrest- 
ed public attention. This denied to any person who was 
a slave, whose ancestors were imported into this coun- 
try and sold as slaves, any right to sue in a court of the 
United States ; it considered them as a subordinate and 
inferior class of beings, who had no rights or privileges 
but such as the government might grant them ; it affirm- 
ed that it was not the intention of the framers of the 
Declaration of Independence that its principles should 
apply to the African race — an unhappy race separated 
from the white by an indelible mark, and by laws long 
before established, and never thought of or spoken of ex- 
cept as property. It farther declared that the Missouri 


Compromise was unconstitutional, and denied the right 
of Congress to exclude slavery from any Territory. 

This decision gave rise in the Free States to the most 
ominous forebod- serious reflections on the political powers of 
KenSnfrom the Supreme Court. It was obvious that 
the policy and condition of the republic 
might, through it, be controlled by one man, and that 
public opinion and Congressional action on the most mo- 
mentous national affairs might pass for nothing, or be 
overruled. The organization of the court admitted the 
possibility of that result. It was affirmed that the de- 
cision in Dred Scott's case not only showed how sectional 
considerations might control universal justice, but that 
there actually were no solid foundations on which the 
republic could rest, and hence no security for the nation 
so long as there were thus the means of subverting long 
recognized principles of public policy. There were many 
persons who foresaw in the ominous action of this court 
that it might be in future times an instrument of ruin to 
the nation. 




The tide of Northern emigration reached the country of the Kansas and Nebraska. 
Alarm of the South at the appropriation of those regions by Freedom. It at, 
tempted a settlement of them in the interests of Slavery, but was resisted by the 
New England Aid Societies. A dreadful social condition arose in Kansas from 
the ensuing conflict, but the struggle ended in favor of the Eree Settlers. 

This struggle presents the transition epoch of the conflict between the North and 
South. It closes the period of Congressional or peaceable Action, and introduces 
that of Violence and War. 

The country lying to the west of the slave state Mis. 
souri and the free state Iowa, and with them 

The country of the n . .-, • -r -i-i ,• r»,i ■ t 

Kansas and Ne- forming; the middle portion of the incline 

braska. i • i i -in i t-» i n/r 

which descends from the Rocky Mountains 
to the Mississippi River, is for the most part drained by 
the branches of two great streams — the Kansas on the 
south and the Nebraska on the north. This region can 
not vie in agricultural capability with the rich lands low- 
er down the valley. The annual fall of rain is in greatly 
diminished quantity, and uncertain in its intervals. 

Its northwest corner possesses, however, great topo- 
graphical importance. It presents one of the gateways 
to the Pacific coast — a depression in the chain of the 
Rocky Mountains known as the South Pass. To this 
portal the North Fork of the Nebraska or Platte River 
approaches. It is the natural passage to the Great Salt 
Lake, to Utah — the Mormon country — and to the Pacific. 

Leaving the mouth of the Kansas, where the elevation 

Aspect of Nature * s a b°ut seven hundred feet above the sea, 

init * and making his way through Nebraska to 

the South Pass, distant in a straight line more than eight 

hundred miles, the traveler, as he ascends the incline, sees 


in the topography and vegetation the future of that coun- 
try. Though the banks of the streams may be belted 
with cottonwood, and the prairie covered with roses and 
sunflowers, the cactus soon marks out an increasing arid- 
ity. For want of better fuel, the evening encampment, 
imitating the Tartars on the steppes of Asia, makes its 
dull-burning fire of bois de vache — dried animal excre- 
ment. Through a valley as fragrant and beautiful as a 
flower-garden, the Nebraska goes down to its confluence 
with the Missouri. Its affluents in many places have 
raised their beds from three to ten feet above the surface. 
At Fort Laramie an elevation of nearly four thousand 
five hundred feet is attained. From that point eastward- 
ly are immense timberless prairies, over 

Its Flora, Fauna, ,., , -, {* i n> t , t i 

and romantic wnicn ran^e nerds oi bunalo, antelopes, and 

scenery. 5; , , ' t 

deer. Indians m picturesque groups, armed 
with bows and long spears, and mounted on wild horses 
from the Arkansas Plains, ride over the waterless sands. 
In the opposite direction westwardly all is sterile and 
frightful. The rich grasses that flourished low down the 
incline are here replaced by odoriferous plants, with dry, 
pointed, and shrunken leaves. The country looks as if it 
had been swept by fire ; it has a dull, ash-colored hue 
of desolation. Here and there, vapor issuing from hot 
springs condenses into clouds in the cold morning air, be- 
traying the still unextinguished volcanic powers beneath. 
The prairie-dog,' the burrowing owl, the rattlesnake, are 
found consorting together. In the mountain streams the 
industrious beaver is busy constructing his dam. At an 
altitude of seven thousand four hundred and ninety feet 
above the sea the South Pass through the Rocky Mount- 
ains is gained. Fremont describes its gentle ascent as 
like that of the Capitol Hill at Washington. Romantic 
scenery — mountains, cascades, grotesque rocks resembling 
chimneys, and domes, and minarets, columns of eddying 


and drifting sand, that sway in the wind — is met with in 
all directions. So majestic is the wild grandeur that 
even the half-civilized hunters are awe-stricken. They 
call the cleft, through which the current of the Sweetwa- 
ter forces its way the Devil's Gate. In this elevated re- 
gion are the head waters of four of the great 

It contains the . P ,-, . . . . 1 ~. , , , 

headwaters of four rivers ot the continent — the Colorado, the 

great rivers. . 7 

Columbia, the Missouri, the Nebraska. The 
highest peaks of the culminating ridge rise above the 
limit of eternal snow. 

Diminished luxuriance of vegetation, depending on in- 
sufficient rain, is an indication that Kansas can never 
compete, as an agricultural state, with the rich alluvial 
countries below. In Colorado and New Mexico, indeed 
throughout the entire range of the Rocky Mountains, are 
its position be- probably the richest gold and silver deposits 
tS U and e mSg" in the world. Kansas and Nebraska, there- 
fore, separate the agricultural life of the East 
from the mining life of the West. Even had the South 
succeeded in reversing the result of the struggle for the 
possession of the former state, had she been able to send 
ten thousand negroes into it as she desired, it would have 
been of no avail. The condition of Nature is here ad- 
verse to the slave system. Here, if any where, apply 
those truths to which Mr. Webster referred when he said, 

it is naturally un- m the United States Senate, "As to Cali- 
smted to slavery. fomia and New Mexico? j ^old slavery to be 

excluded from those Territories by a law even superior 
to that which admits and sanctions it in Texas — the law 
of Nature, of physical geography — the law of the forma- 
tion of the earth. That law settles forever, with a strength 
beyond all terms of human enactment, that slavery can 
not exist in California and New Mexico. Those coun- 
tries are Asiatic in their formation and scenery. They 
are composed of vast ridges of mountains of great height, 


with broken crests and deep valleys. The sides of those 
mountains are entirely barren ; their togs are capped by 
perennial snow. What is there that could, by any pos- 
sibility, induce any body to go there with slaves ? I have, 
therefore, to say, in this respect also, that that country is 
fixed for freedom to as many persons as shall ever live in 
it ; and I will say farther, that if a resolution or a bill 
were now before us to provide a Territorial government 
for New Mexico, I would not vote to put any prohibition 
in it whatever. Such a prohibition would be idle as re- 
spects any effect it would have upon the Territory ; and 
I would not take pains uselessly to reaffirm an ordinance 
of Nature, nor to re-enact the will of God." 

This influence of Nature on man is discernible in all 
the population of the interior of the continent. It has 
not escaped the observation of intelligent foreigners that, 
while the inhabitants of the Atlantic border are still in- 
tellectually but little removed from a colonial condition, 
deriving many of their ideas and many of their opinions 
from Europe, " the true American is found in the Great 
Valley. He has no susceptibility for European appreci- 
ation or criticism ; he looks on it with indifference or dis- 

mfluence of the as- d ^ n -" " He is > and is determined to be, the 
the wL^npeo- 11 citizen of a great republic. He despises use- 
less people and mental idleness." He has 
no conception of individual superiority except as based 
on personal merit. Childlike in his disposition, he is 
prone to exaggeration. In him Individualism is carried 
to its extreme ; yet, as if in singular contradiction, he is in- 
tensely patriotic. Vast prairies covered by the unbroken 
dome of the sky, and navigable rivers all converging to 
a common trunk, perpetually suggest to him Unionism. 
During the civil war no portion of the country more ef- 
fectively upheld the republic — none was more truly loyal 
than the Free States of the Valley. 

Chap. XXIV.] 



The Nebraska Kiver is also called the Platte. Hence 
the region formerly passed under the designation of the 
Platte country ; and in 1851-2, premature attempts had 
First attempts to been made in Congress to accomplish its or- 
brf ski z c e oun e try ts a ganization as a Territory. These were fol- 
lowed by a similar movement originating 
with the State of Missouri in 1853. A bill for that pur- 
pose passed the House of Representatives, but was de- 
feated by the influence of the Slave States in the Senate, 
because the Territory as thus organized would have been 

In the next Congress, 1853, the attempt was renewed 
* *. ^ of mM in the Senate, this time by the State of Iowa. 

A dispute at once " «/ 

frel^dsSveVow- It speedily led to a serious conflict between 
the North and the South. 

Since this region was to the north of latitude 36° 30', 
it must, under the Missouri Compromise, be free territory. 

But on the part of the South it was asserted that, in 
virtue of the Compromise of 1850, the slaveholder had a 
right to carry his slaves into that Territory — the practical 
result being a setting aside of the Missouri Compromise 

Under these circumstances, it was proposed, the ter- 

propositiontodi- ritoi 7 in dispute being about 400 miles in 
vide the Territory, breadth, to divide it as near as might be into 
equal portions along the fortieth parallel of latitude, the 
result being that the slave state Missouri would thus 
have the Territory of Kansas on its west, and the free 
state Iowa that of Nebraska, the new Territories thus 
taking the names of their principal streams. 

With respect to the delicate but vital question of slav- 
ery, it was proposed to carry out the principle which had 
now become known as that of Congressional non-inter- 
ference — that is, that the United States Congress should 
stand in a neutral attitude, doing nothing to prevent 


and nothing to promote the introduction of slavery, "but 
should leave those points to be settled by the inhabit- 
ants of the Territory themselves. This was asserted to 
be the legitimate result of the compromise measures of 
It was doubtless expected that the practical conse- 
quence of this partition of territory would 
nish a free and a be that the Southern portion would eventu- 

slave state. . 

ally furnish a slave, and the Northern a free 
state. But, under these circumstances, it was plain that 
a conflict between the two great parties must necessarily 
ensue ; that the flood of free labor heretofore steadily 
overflowing the North, and the stream of slave labor 
from the South, would be precipitated against each other 
on the banks of the Kansas. 

Not that this event could be avoided, or, indeed, for 

any length of time procrastinated ; it was the 

A conflict for the . • i i i • i i • i j i , • • , 

possession of it inevitable issue to which the country m its 

unavoidable. . _^ _^ " 

progress was coming. The South at once 
appreciated its position and foreboded defeat. Its states- 
men recognized the impossibility of throwing into the 
disputed Territory a sufficient force of slaves. It was 
useless for the slaveholder to go there without them. 
The Atlantic States and the Border States were already 
drained ; nor was there any possibility of attracting negro 
labor from the Gulf to the comparatively barren slope of 
Nebraska. But the North had the boundless population 
supplies of Europe at her command. In overwhelming 
numbers she could direct her advancing columns of free 
emigrants to the point of contact. 

In the Congressional debates amendments were pro- 
„, . posed indicating how clearly the political 

The slave power a o J x 

d?fficu c ity te o s f its 3 position was appreciated ; among these may 

attempt. -^ men tioned one incapacitating the people 

of the Territory from prohibiting slavery, and one re- 

Chap. XXIV.] 



Immigration of 
slaveholders to 

fusing to immigrants who had only declared their inten- 
tion to become citizens, a vote. 

The struggle took place in Kansas. Even before the 
passage of the Territorial Bill, and its ap- 
proval by the President, treaties were made 
with the Indian tribes who had reservations 
in the country, their titles being extinguished as fast as 
possible, and settlers from Missouri, with their slaves, 
crossed over, every exertion being made not only to or- 
ganize the Territory on these principles, but to exclude 

the incoming: free emigrants. In the East- 
Free emigration o o 

NeT Engiand the ern States what were termed Emigrant Aid 
Aid societies. Societies were established, and settlers not 
only prepared for agricultural labor, but armed for con- 
flict, forced in. Every one saw that the Kansas affair 
was the turning-point of the great struggle. The Mis- 
sourians called upon the people of the other Slave States 
for help, and attempted by threats and violence to force 
the exclusion of their antagonists. The election for the 
first Territorial Legislature took place in March, 1855, 

The slaveholders * te slave P art y carrying every thing before 
at first successful, j^ j^ was a ffi rme( J that nearly a thousand 

squatters came over from Missouri to vote, and, still worse, 
that there were eight times as many votes as voters. At 
Mary sville, where there were only 24 legal voters, not less 
than 328 pro-slavery votes were returned. In the Legis- 
lature which shortly after assembled, laws were passed 
enacting the penalty of death for various offenses against 
the slave system. 

Meantime the free settlers held a Convention at Tope- 
ka. Thev formed a Constitution, and applied 

The free settlers 

form a constitu- to Congress for admission as a free state. 

tion at Topeka. ° 

The House of Representatives sent a com- 
mittee to Kansas to examine into the facts of the case. 
Upon their report, the state, with its Topeka or free Con- 
stitution, was admitted by the House ; but the bill was 


defeated in the Senate. The disorders now became ten- 
^ ,. . .... fold worse. Assassinations, murders, and all 

Dreadful condition ' ' 

through'SSeSdis- nianner of brutal crimes were perpetrated. 
putes * Skirmishes, resulting in great loss of life, oc- 

curred between the free and slave parties. A regiment 
of recruits from the Atlantic States, South Carolina and 
Georgia, arrived. The town of Lawrence was sacked; but 
the Free-soil emigrants steadily increased in number, and 
among them came one destined to future celebrity — John 
Brown, of Ossawatomie. 

While these deplorable events were happening in Kan- 
sas, the Presidential election occurred. Though Mr. Fre- 
mont, the Republican candidate, obtained a very large 
vote (1,341,264 votes), a premonition of the rapidly-in- 
creasing strength of the Abolitionists, the 

Accession of Mr. -,->. . . -, -, . . -, 

Buchanan to the Democratic party secured tne victory, and 
Mr. Buchanan was elected. He received 

1,838,169 votes. 

On his accession to power Mr. Buchanan would have 
willingly admitted Kansas as a slave state, 

He favors the Le- -. .-it j /~\ . • ■ . • .. 

compton or slave under the Lecompton Constitution, as it was 

Constitution. ' • n 1 -i*iit 

termed — the Southern party having held a 
Convention at that place, and formed a Constitution in 
accordance with their ideas. But so great was the influx 
of free settlers under the auspices of the New England 
Aid Societies, that the Territorial legislation passed into 
their hands. They, of course, rejected the Lecompton 
Eventual victory of # Constitution, and eventually, at the time the 
the free settlers, i go^hera States seceded, Kansas was admit- 

ted as a free state. 

" Had the African slave-trade been open — had we been 
able to throw ten thousand negroes into 

Cause of the want -r-r t t i • t • i 

of success by the Kansas, we could nave carried our point 

without the loss of a white man's life" — 

such was the exclamation of the South. But from the 

beginning the issue of the conflict was inevitable ; the 


North had unlimited population supplies — the South had 

There can be no doubt that the South, in lending her- 
Dtsastrous effect to self to the repeal of the Missouri Compro- 
p'eafof the M?s- re * m i se ? committed a mistake. So long as all 

souri Compromise. territoiy Qn ter gide f latitude 36° 30' WaS 

delivered to slavery, she had security. In permitting the 
abandonment of that concession, she grasped at the shad- 
ow of equality with the North, and lost the substance ; 
from that moment the anti-slavery party had her at their 
mercy. Moreover, the repeal of that Compromise pro- 
duced a profound moral impression — perhaps it might 
even be said, anger, at the North. It aided in conjoining 
Abolitionism with [Republicanism, and in giving Mr. Fre- 
mont his vast vote. It disintegrated the Democratic par- 
ty, and destroyed it in the North, by alienating many of 
those who could not but look with approval on whatever 
gave a fair field to the white laborer. It mortally of- 
fended all those who upheld the cardinal principle of 
Northern policy, that a popular majority ought to rule — 
the Lecompton Constitution, which Mr. Buchanan so much 
favored, being, in their estimation, not the work of a ma- 
jority of the people. The Democratic party and the 
South, heretofore allied, now looked upon each other with 
distrust ; the former had obviously become demoralized, 
the latter had lost its prestige. 

The Kansas-Nebraska struggle marks an epoch in the 
_ .." . . great controversy between the North and the 

This struggle con- o J 

|eTme a rica P B°coS South. It closes the period of Parliament- 
ary or Congressional debate between them, 
and introduces one of violence and open war. The South 
clearly perceived that nothing more was to be hoped for 
from peaceable measures, and that, if it were its intention 
to perpetuate, or even to protect African slavery, it could 
do so only by force. 




Pressed by a sense of the necessity of increasing the slave supply, both for political 
and economical reasons, some of the Southern Conventions considered the effect 
of reopening the African slave-trade. An abstract is given of the arguments 
in favor of and against that measure, presented to the Montgomery Convention 
in 1858, and of the probable effect of the secession movement upon it. 

An imperious necessity pressed upon the South to find 
deliverance from the difficulties hourly in- 

The necessity of an . -, •, rr , . . . -, -. 

increased slave sup- creasing around her. lo maintain a balance 

ply for the South. & . 

oi power in the general government she must 
have more states; to have more states she must have 
more people. Already the transfer of slaves from the 
older -settled communities was disarranging local indus- 
try. Moreover, it was obviously impossible to control 
the direction of that transfer. The slave was sent where 
his labor was commercially most profitable, not where 
political considerations indicated. 

The North could consolidate its Territorial acquisitions 
by pouring into the West not only its own 

Abundant popula- . -i . ■, . -, , -,,» .,,. n 

tion supplies for natural increase, but also halt a million or 

the North. , ' . . 

immigrants annually. That additional in- 
crement of labor and of power was denied to the South. 
Her position was such that she could not look to Europe 
for help. It was impossible for her to co-ordinate white 
and black labor, and the African slave-trade was piracy. 
It seemed as if she was under the finger of Destiny. 
The south is stead- She had been constrained to surrender the 
uy losing territory. Newest Territory, the larger part of the 


Louisiana purchase, the Mexican acquisitions. Free la- 
bor was steadily encircling her in the West. 

Ideas, when they assume political activity, necessarily 
become aggressive. They take the initia- 

New England anti- . , . , , , , . , . 

slavery ideas inces- tive, and quickly compel material interests to 

santly pressing her, ' x J # x 

stand on the defensive. The New England 
anti-slavery conceptions never for a moment declined 
in force. They spread geographically, and increased in 
intrinsic intensity. They pressed remorselessly on the 

The South mistook the spirit of the times. She did 
not recognize that modern civilization is adverse to her 
institution. She closed her eyes to the fact that pro- 
gressive Europe is hostile to negro slavery. 

Nor was it alone against this exterior pressure that she 
had to contend. She had — perhaps a still 

And there were t/y» -ii j i 1 ^*pji i • 

misgivings in her more dimcult task — to satistv the wnisper- 

own conscience. . . ^ x t 

mgs of her own conscience. At one time, in 
the earlier stages of the controversy, there were, especial- 
ly among her women, widespread misgivings as to the 
morality of the institution, and many pious persons sin- 
cerely prayed to be delivered from its evils. To calm 
these feelings, her clergy provided texts and arguments 
from the Scriptures, showing that the descendants of Ham 
were under a curse ; that among the Old Testament wor- 
thies slavery was tolerated, and hence it was — such was 
the phrase — a patriarchal institution. The Pentateuch, 
the Psalms, the Prophecies, the Gospels, the Epistles, the 
patristic writers, were all shown to abound in convincing 
and approving evidence. 

In this there was an illustration of the remark of Car- 
rel, that " necessities dictate principles, and that princi- 
ples are always silent in presence of necessities." 

She also sought support from the hand of science. 
Among the Southern naturalists there were some who 


with ability contested the doctrine of the 

Attempts to re- . £ , , . 

move those misgiv- unity ot the human race, attempting: to 

ings. J . . 

demonstrate from anatomical, physiological, 
and other such considerations, that the black races have 
sprung from an origin totally distinct from the white ; 
that their physical, and especially their cerebral construc- 
tion, marks them out as an inferior race, obviously in- 
tended for servile life. Hence, though we should bear 
ourselves toward them with kindness, our conduct ought 
to be regulated on the same principles that we observe 
toward our domestic animals, to which we so often be- 
come sincerely attached — that we should guide their ac- 
tions, obliging them to submit to restraint, and subject- 
ing them, if needful, to punishment. 

On her part, the North entered her protest against all 

The North protests sucn assertions and conclusions. Her press 
against such views. p 0ure( j forth an increasing stream of argu- 
ment, often tinctured with bitter invective. To strike at 
the weakest point of her antagonist, she assailed the con- 
science of the South ; the mails and post-offices were bur- 
dened with anti- slavery newspapers, pamphlets, and 
books. Among the latter one may be mentioned as hav- 
ing attained world-wide celebrity — " Uncle Tom's Cabin." 
It was translated into almost every European language, 
and passed through hundreds of editions. It was read 
from Sweden to Italy, from the British Islands to the 
Russian Empire. If we may judge from its effect on the 
popular mind of Europe, the printing of that book was 
one of the severest intellectual blows delivered against 
the South. 

As this unequal conflict went on, it became more and 
The south at- more apparent that, if the South would pre- 
Sprotestfby 11 serve her institution, she must resort to re- 
force, pression, and assume an offensive attitude. 
Accordingly her Conventions, which of late had annually 


assembled, unceasingly recommended the exclusion of all 
Northern literature, newspapers, periodicals, and especial- 
ly school-books. Committees of learned men were ap- 
pointed for the preparation of elementary works suitable 
for schools and colleges, so composed as to be in accord- 
ance with pro-slavery views. It was recommended to ex- 
clude all Northern teachers, male and female, and put un- 
der ban all Northern colleges. Some of the more active 
members of these Conventions proposed to place all New 
England manufactures on the same footing that New 
England did their slaves ; some even went so far as to 
advocate the inflicting of punishment on all Southern 
men who should have dealings with New England. 

In her general political movement, it is plain that the 
South was committing the mistake so significantly repre- 
hended by Napoleon. She was converting a transitory 
necessity into a permanent political principle. She had 
persuaded herself that slavery had become every thing to 
her ; that, if she desired to be a power at all, she must be 
a slave power. She dreamt of a great empire round that 
American Mediterranean, the Gulf of Mexico, holding 
possession of the mouth of the Mississippi, and thereby 
controlling the centre of the continent, but " leaving out 
in the cold" the New England Puritans. A monopoly of 
the cotton trade would give her weight among the na- 
tions of the earth ; a strong military government would 
enable her to more than rival the glories of ancient Rome. 
Slavery was her transient necessity ; she sought to make 
it the permanent political principle, the " corner-stone" of 
enduring empire. In all this she reversed the remark of 
Montesquieu, that " a slave nation tends to preserve rath- 
er than to acquire, a free nation to acquire rather than to 

To realize these imperial hopes one condition must 
obviously be fulfilled — her laboring population, her inte- 


,. ^ rior force, must be increased. Her religious 

And considers the 7 O 

theAfticSdavf. misgivings having been satisfied as respected 
the morality of her acts, her patriotic en- 
thusiasm aroused by an anticipated brilliant future, she 
brought her communities to that state that they would 
hearken to the reopening of the slave-trade. 

But, though they would hearken, it must not be sup- 
posed that the suggestion met with universal approval. 
Very many of her ablest men discerned that the move- 
ments of the Northern communities were only a second- 
ary cause, and that it was the irresistible progress of 
modern civilization, the spirit of the age, that had found 
an embodiment in them. Against that spirit they knew 
that it was altogether useless to struggle. 

In the South itself there were thus upon this great 
question conflicting views ; there were also, as will be 
presently found, conflicting interests — the great proprie- 
tor and the poor white — the slave-selling and the slave- 
using states. That I may with impartiality offer the 
opinions of each, I shall, in the following pages, give an 
abstract of the documents and criticisms submitted to 
the consideration of the Convention at Montgomery, Ala- 
bama, May, 1858. 

A committee having been appointed at the previous 
meeting of the Convention, held at Knox- 

Report to the Mont- ••%•* m -ir>i~H 1 • • i ;i 

gomery conven- ville, lennessee, 1857, to examme into the 
wants of the South in respect to population 
and labor, and also to inquire into the condition of the 
natives of Africa, made to the Montgomery Convention 
substantially the following report. 

"It is obvious that two distinct and antagonistic forms 

Abstract of that of society have met for contest upon the 

report. arena of the Union. The one assumes that 

all men are equal, and that equality is right. On that 


theory it is leveling its members to the horizontal plane 
of a democracy. The other assumes that all men are not 
equal ; that equality is not right ; and, standing upon this 
theory, is taking to itself the rounded form of a social 
aristocracy. The former embraces the pop- 

Social principles -j • i t n ii 1 i«i ,»,-it 

of the North and ular ideal 01 the age; and while entitled, 


therefore, to presumption in its favor, is es- 
tablished in the common mind by the conclusive logic 
of adoption. The other departs from that ideal, and, 
sentenced therefore by popular judgment, must prove its 
claims to recognition. The former is the view of the 
North, the latter of the South. 

"Two races have been brought into contact in the South, 
social condition of and these races are unequal. That they are 
the south. unequal in character and capacity is too 

plain, perhaps, to need an argument. While the ruling 
race has been capable of progress ; while it has continu- 
ally advanced in law and arts, and is able to sustain a 
structure of civilization not only over itself, but over the 
other race connected with it, that other race has not 
been capable of progress. It has never been able to rear 
a structure of civilization in its native land ; it has not 
been able to sustain the structure prepared for it in the 
inferiority of the West Indies ; it has not been able to stand 
negro race. U p ^ ^ structure sustained over it in the 
Northern States ; and neither in its native land nor in a 
foreign land, in a savage or civilized condition, has it 
ever yet been able to illuminate one living truth with 
the rays of genius. 

"Yet, while so unequal, there is no apparent reason why 
these races should not come together. They are upon 
the surface of the same earth ; they both possess powers 
of expansion ; and the God that made them must have 
foreseen, and must have intended, that their circles of ex- 
pansion must intersect; and, unless it can be inferred 


that the stronger was intended to exterminate the weak- 
er, as it has crushed out the Indian on this continent, and 
as man expels the untamed beasts, it would seem that 
some form of union was intended to take place between 

" If intended that a union should occur, it must also 

have been intended that it should be in re- 
conditions under -, . • n • n • . /» •■• i r»,i 

which it can coex- lations oi inequality; tor it is a law 01 the 

ist with the white. * -i • i • n i • 

same great Architect that, it unequal in tact, 
they must be unequal in relations ; that bodies of une- 
qual gravity must rest at unequal levels ; that oil and 
water, poured into the same vessel, must settle in planes 
of unequal elevation; and so, therefore, it would seem 
that in this form of social constitution there is not only 
no wrong, but that here, as elsewhere, if Nature be true 
to herself, superior power must find its oifice in superior 

"Nor, though Democracy be the ideal of the age, is there 
reason for believing that human society was intended to 
consist forever of such an unarticulated mass. No such 
mass has ever yet commenced the march of social im- 
provement. Whenever states have come to greatness, 
they have exhibited the condition of unequal classes. 
There were citizens and slaves in Greece, patricians and 
plebeians in Rome, peers and villeins in England, nobles 
and peasants in Central Europe ; and generally, wher- 
ever there has been social progress and power, there has 
been articulation, a ruling and a subject class, if not a 
ruling and a subject race — an artificial, if not a natural 

The committee then proceed to show, both from his- 
tory and from Nature, that a progressive so- 

Necessity of its be- . 

ing in a subordin- ciety must necessarily have degrees of sub- 
ate position. y . 

ordination. From the analogies of the lat- 
ter they affirm that a nation must pass by regular grada- 


tions upward, and that it may have a form and organ- 
ism, capacities and powers, as much above the Democratic 
ideal of the present age as the highest animals are above 
the lowest. 

The committee then affirm that, if the domestic slave- 
trade be admissible, the foreign slave-trade can not be 
wrong. They then depict the social condition of the ne- 
gro in Africa. From different authors of repute they 
show the condition of abject barbarism and unspeakable 
immorality of that country, and conclude that there is no 
class of negro life that would not be elevated by coming 
to a state of slavery in America. 

The report next proceeds to consider the probable ef- 
fect of the foreign slave-trade upon "the for- 
the African slave- tunes of the South, declaring that "the great 
want of the South is of population ; that this 
is necessary to political power, and political power is nec- 
essary to liberty. The two great sections of the country 
are distinct, and it is unreasonable to expect that there 
can be security either for social or political rights with- 
out the political power to sustain them. As the repub- 
lic is at present constituted, political power is dependent 
on population. If the North shall have a larger popu- 
lation and a majority of states, the North may govern, 
and it were scarcely sanity to hope that she will forbear 
to do so. She has that majority at present; she has a 
majority of two votes in the Senate, and more than fifty 
in the House of Representatives. By immigration and 
by the more rapid increase of her population she is daily 
acquiring an increase to her political power. With such 
an excess of population she can readily, perhaps she must 
necessarily, preclude the South from vacant territory. 
With her excess of political power she can control the 
fortunes of the South in Congress. Her purpose to con- 
trol the government, and, through the government, the 
South, has already been expressed. 


"The slave-trade will give us political power. For ev- 
its effect on the ei 7 five slaves that come in, we acquire the 
south. right to a representation for three persons in 

the national Legislature. Still more : it is necessary to 
power that we should have not only population, but 
states, and experience has shown that there is no way of 
securing slave territory without slaves. Ten thousand 
Southern masters have made a noble effort to rescue Kan- 
sas, and have failed, but so would not have failed ten 
thousand slaves. Ten thousand of the rudest Africans 
that ever set their feet upon our shores, imported as they 
would have been perhaps in Boston ships, 

south political by Boston capital, and under a Boston slave- 
power. * / . ■*■ ' 

driver, would have swept the Free-soil party 
from that land. Taking that Territory, we should also 
have taken her whole population of sixty thousand to the 
South ; so also might we take another state in Texas, in 
Arizona, New Mexico, Lower California, perhaps in Ne- 
braska, Utah, Oregon. It is even possible that, with 
slaves at importers' prices, we might stop the hungry 
mouth of free society in the older states, and lull it to re- 
pose as far back as the sterile regions of New England. 
"The foreign slave-trade will give us population; it 
will give us power of extension to vacant 

It will also give , .. .. •-«•■ -i c* * , • , 

power of occupying territory ; it will draw foreign enterprise to 

territory, . J 7 . ° x 

its embrace, foreign capital to its support ; 
it will furnish the commodity with which to subsidize 
the emissaries of the North, and drive the North from 
every field of competition. 

" But, moreover, another great want of the South is of 
labor. That is necessary both to material progress and 
the value of vested interest ; it is necessary to material 
progress, for without it there is no more hope of a more 
varied culture. Upon an area of 856,000 square miles, 
with a laboring population of three and a half millions, it 


is idle to expect competition with crowded countries in 
the realms of industry. The mechanic arts will pay no 
more for labor here than they are forced to pay for it 
elsewhere. But cotton does and will pay more. It buys 
up all the labor, and the man who undertakes other 
branches must provide his labor at cotton prices. Such 
must be the condition at the South until there shall be 
sufficient labor to satisfy the craving maw of cotton. 
When that shall happen, the excess will fall to competi- 
tion with the world in other lines of busi- 

And satisfy the mi ~ 1 . -• .-,-,. 

pressing labor- ness. lne foreign slave-trade will give us 

want. ° . ° 

that abundant labor. It is asserted that the 
negro is unfitted for the arts, but without the slightest 
ground for the assertion. Intelligence is necessary to the 
construction of a machine, and to its regulation also ; but 
labor only is necessary to its operation, and the negro, in 
his common absence from reflection, is perhaps the best 
manipulatist in the world. 
"So, also, is labor necessary to the value of vested inter- 
ests. In respect of such interests the South 

It will increase the ,, . , , n at 

value of vested in- has been singularly unfortunate. At the 

terests, ° J 

North men step to opulence. The foreign 
population poured upon that section has given progress 
to every line of business, and value to every article of 
property. Lands bought one year are worth twice as 
much the next; and the people there, as values rise 
around them, have the comforts of wealth. Not so with 
us. Here there has been no wave of foreign power to 
raise the value of our vested interests. On the contrary, 
the wave of labor is continually gliding away from us, 
and, though our labor has been productive, our products 
abundant, there are many of us in the older sections who 
would fail to sell our estates to-day for as much as was 
paid for them in market fifty years ago. 

" This state of things would be altered by the foreign 


slave-trade. That would give population, and population 
alone would necessarily advance the value of vested in- 
terests ; for between population and the prices of real in- 
terests at least there is an intimate and necessary connec- 
tion. In the Southern States, where there are but twelve 
And particularly of persons to the square mile, the average value 

real estate. Q f | an( J ^ g ^q^ g j x (J l] ars an acre • \ n the 

Northern States, where there are one hundred to the 
square mile, the average is about fifty dollars to the acre. 
In England, where there are three hundred and thirty- 
three to the square mile, the value is about one hundred 
and seventy dollars to the acre. And so it is, that an in- 
crease in population gives a necessary increase in the val- 
ue of real property ; and so it is, also, that an increase of 
competitors will give a necessary increase in the value of 
every other matter that becomes a subject of a common 

" It may, perhaps, be objected, that if the slave-trade 
shall furnish labor cheaper, it will lower the 

It will not lower . •» i i j l ,i r* ,t i • ; 

the present price of price oi slaves, and thus, therefore, that it 

skilled slave labor, x . . . ' /» • . i 

will injure one class of interests as much as 
it will benefit another. But this is not the operation. It 
will give a cheaper form of slave labor. There can be 
little doubt that it will furnish slaves competent to many 
of the under offices of life at a figure much below the 
present range of prices ; but these will not come in com- 
petition with the slaves at present in the country. Those 
who own slaves now will perhaps be the first to buy 
more. Though not competent to do the business of edu- 
cated slaves, they will yet be able, under the direction of 
educated slaves, to do the business which would else re- 
quire a better class of labor ; and unless there should 
be a reduction in the prices of Southern staples, the train- 
ed slaves can not be less valuable than they are. 
" That there will be a material reduction in those prices 


is not to be expected. Cotton may come down perhaps 
to a level at least with other staples, and it is perhaps 
desirable that it should come down to that level, for it is 
a grave misfortune to be dependent upon the fluctuations 
of a single product. So it was with the Spanish colonies 
of Mexico and South America. They had but the single 
product, gold, and that was so remunerative that no oth- 
ers could approach it. It was a waste of 

But tend to divers- . -. n , , 1 

ify the occupations time to plant crops, to prepare food or cloth- 
ing, or to practice even the courtesies of com- 
mon life ; and while it loaded the miserable miners down 
with metal, and gave millions upon millions to the treas- 
ury of the world, it made those regions as wild a waste 
as though no human footstep had ever crossed them. So 
also here. It is now not considered profitable to raise 
our grain, or cultivate the ordinary arts; and if cotton 
were to range twenty years at twenty cents a pound, it 
is to be doubted whether every other culture would not 
be driven from the field, and whether we should not be- 
come a weary, wide-spread, horizontal waste of cotton — 
the broad plantation, rather than as now, the province of 
the North." 

The committee then affirm that the requisitions of the 
world for cotton increase at the rate of about six per cent, 
per year; that the South is at present furnishing about 
two thirds of the supply; and that the effect of the open- 
ing of the African trade would be to drive India and 
Egypt out of the market, and not to produce a reduction 
in the price of the staple. They then continue : 

" The next great want of the South is of slaves. Before 
the suppression of the slave-trade the two races were 
nearly equal, and it is probable that they would have so 
continued. Both were free to come, and, as they natu- 
rally settled in proportions of equality, it is probable, un- 
der ordinary circumstances, that that is the due propor- 


tion between them. But when the slave-trade was cut 
off, the natural tendency became disturbed. The open- 
ing South demanded population. The white race could 
come, the colored could not ; and hence it has happened 
that they are no longer equal. There are three millions 
of masters without a slave. These add to the political 
power of the South ; they add to its prosper- 

It will diminish the .. -, . -, ., -,-. .,. 

number of the non- rty ana greatness, but they add nothing; to 

slaveholding class, «/ o / t/ o 

the strength of slavery. They form no part 
or parcel of its structure. They do not look at it with 
repugnance, for it is popular at the South to admire it. 
They would not abolish it, for they would share in the 
ruin of its loss ; but there is the feeling that they do not 
share directly in the institution. This condition, painful 
if it be not perilous, would be alleviated by the foreign 
slave-trade. That will diminish the disparity of num- 
bers. But it will do more ; it will remove another diffi- 
culty also. Under present circumstances, it is not only 
impossible that six and a half millions of freemen can 
each own one of three and a half millions of slaves, but 
at present prices it is impossible that the mere laborer 
can ever do so. It is long, under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances, before he can make one thousand dollars, 
and, making it, it is longer still before he can come to 
risk so much upon a single venture. However much he 
may wish a share in that desirable commodity, it is done 

up in packages too large for common use. 

And therefore rni n . -, . -, .-,-. ■, , 

strengthen south- lhe foreign slave-trade will bring enough 

ern society. ° . o o 

for all, and reduce prices so that poorer men 
may purchase; it will thus bring all the ruling class to 
the same social stand-point, and reintegrate and strength 
en our social system ; it will abolish the odious distinc- 
tion between slaveowners and non-slaveowners. 

" It is objected that if slaves be thus allowed to come, 
they will come in great numbers ; and that, as the Slave 


States will be hemmed in by the Free, they 
ofan e ove?c°rowd^ will crowd the South to a kind of social 

of slaves, . _. _ . 

suffocation. But the committee see no rea- 
son to believe that such will be the case. On the con- 
trary, the importation of one or two hundred thousand 
slaves will enable us to take every Territory offered 
in the West. It will not then be necessary to fight as 
we have had to fight for Kansas, but mere slaves will 
win the battle for us. Those offered at paying prices 
will subdue the hearts of even abolition emissaries, and 
point their rifles against the North, and with slaves only 
sufficient for the work of pioneer advancement we may 
open to the institution of domestic slavery the whole 
broad plain from the Mississippi to the Pacific. 
"Admitting, however, as many do, that the foreign slave- 

And none of foreign tl>ade wlU not in J Ure the SavageS of Africa, 

opposition. or (Ji rec tly the people of the South, it is yet 

contended that it will bring us into contact with foreign 
states, or that, at least, in pressing it to adoption, we shall 
break the Union. To these propositions we do not as- 
sent. It is not true, as is assumed, that foreign nations 
are tender on the score of human rights. England crushes 
India; France, Algeria ; Russia, Prussia, and Austria have 
parted Poland ; all march to opportunity, and, if forced to 
look for European morality in the history of European 
states, we shall find every where an unequivocal assertion 
of one great principle — that power is virtue, and weakness 
crime. Nor is it true that European states are hostile to 
the spread of slavery at the South. They are hostile to 
the Union. They see in it a threatening rival ; they see 
that rival armed with one of the most potent productive 
institutions that the world has ever witnessed. They 
would crush India and Algeria to make an equal supply 
of cotton with the North, and, failing this, they would 
crush slavery to bring the North to a footing with them- 


selves. But to slavery without the North 

Europe no longer , , - 

looks upon slavery they nave no repugnance ; on the contrary, 

with repugnance. , ,."' ° , J 

if it were to stand out for itself, free from 
the control of any other power, and were to offer to Eu- 
ropean states, upon fair terms, a full supply of its com- 
modities, it would not only not be warred upon, but the 
South would be singularly favored — crowns would bow 
before her — kingdoms and empires would break a lance 
to win the smile of her approval ; and, quitting her free 
estate, it would be in her option to become the bride of 
the world, rather than as now, the miserable mistress of 
the North. 

"Nor will the slave-trade measure surely break the 

Union. It will deprive the North of her 

There is no danger J- 1 

onhftradl^ndis 11 - preponderance of political power, and it will 
solve the umon. ^ pp 0se( j ? therefore, by the political trades- 
men of that section. But to the mercantile and commer- 
cial interests it will give a richer field for operations than 
they have ever dared to dream of. To the manufacturing 
interest it will be the promise of more abundant cotton, 
and of a wider market for their fabrics. It is interest, 
not sentiment or opinion, that gives tendency to political 
action, and these interests, concurring, can control the 
North. The people of that section love power, but they 
love it only for its profits. They will take it, scheme for 
it, steal it perhaps, but they will not pay for it ; and if 

their interests lead them, as will be the case 
theNorth?m a pIo- to concur with the South in reopening the 

foreign slave-trade, they will not only not 
break the Union on that issue, but they will subsidize 
their venal representatives to press it onward ; and not 
only, therefore, will it not break the Union, but in giving 
the South the road to political security it will present 
the only condition upon which the Union can be per- 
mitted to endure." 


Under the influence of these considerations the commit- 
tee recommend the reopening of the African slave-trade. 

The subject of this report became at once the leading 
topic with the Montgomery Convention. Its 

Opposition to the . ■* -, n -,-, 

resumption of the arguments and conclusions were powerfully 
assailed. They were objected to as out of 
place ; the Convention being assembled, not for the pur- 
pose of proclaiming before Christendom intentions utter- 
ly repugnant to grave and sensible men, and the inaugu- 
ration of a novel and most mischievous policy, but for 
the purpose of invigorating a commerce crippled by dis- 
criminating navigation laws, and to stimulate Southern 
industry. It was denounced as a scheme for reducing 
the price of slaves, and therefore nothing but agrarianism 
and abolition of the worst kind. It was urged that if 
the argument about population proves any thing, white, 
and not black men, should be introduced, since they will 
count five instead of three fifths. As to 

Examination of -,. '-in , • 1 • 1 , * t •/» 

the arguments of what was said about instituting a classmca- 

the report. , ° 

tion of slaves, that would simply be to put 
the intelligent negro on a footing of rivalry with the poor 
white. Moreover, it was recalled to mind that the South 
had pledged herself to the federal government to yield 
the African slave-trade in an unconditional and absolute 
manner, and that by urging the policy now proposed the 
Democratic party at the North must be offended, and 
perhaps sacrificed. In short, the proposition to revive 
the African trade is simply and purely a proposition to 
dissolve the Union, because it can not be carried while 
the Union lasts, and it will shock the moral sentiments 
of Christendom. 

On this it was demanded : " If it be right to raise 
slaves for sale, is it not right to import them ? Suppose 
a captain from New Orleans were to ask the gentleman 
I— Ee 


from Virginia if it was lawful for him to buy 

What applies to the -, , -i-i.-n -i-i-i-i 

African applies to slaves, the ans wer undou btedly would be that 

the domestic trade. , 7 J 

it was, provided he did not do it in Cuba, 
Brazil, or Africa. But if it be right to buy slaves in Vir- 
ginia, why is it not right to buy them in Africa, or wher- 
ever they can be had cheapest? Why should we be 
compelled to give the Virginian $1500 a piece for his 
slaves, when we can get them in Cuba for $600, and in 
Africa for one sixth of that V 

The opponents of this measure declared that, so far 

from public sentiment at the South being 

The Southern peo- i /» j 1 i • /» ■■ 

pie disapprove of ready ior the proposed reopening ot the 
trade, it was apparent that its introduction 
here had caused a deplorable division of the Convention 
itself. Eighteen months had elapsed since the subject 
was first agitated, and not one primary meeting of the 
South had endorsed it ; not one state of the South had 
taken any action upon it except South Carolina. It was 
therefore inopportune and inexpedient to ask Congress to 
repeal those laws. 

" It had been imputed against Virginia that motives of 
pecuniary interest influenced her position on this ques- 
tion. But, in truth, at this moment, so great was her do- 
mestic prosperity that her slave labor could be rendered 
as profitable in her own limits as even in the Gulf States. 
The institution of slavery had been estab- 

Inexpedience of n . -, -• '111 •• nit 

provoking public hshed among us against the opinion ot the 

opinion. ... -1 -it 

civilized world. The states of the North 
had yielded to that opinion, and had abolished it ; the 
South, however, against the influence of that opinion, had 
progressed constantly and steadily, until she now pre- 
sents the most beautiful, stupendous, grand, and unrivaled 
system of labor and capital that the world has ever be- 
held. This she has done by being united and firm in her 
position. Is it wise, then, now, upon a question that is 


admitted to be impracticable and unalterable, to create 
division and dissension among ourselves, when England 
and France are endeavoring to establish systems of labor 
like our own, differing only in name ? Let us rather 
wait, and let an overruling Providence guide our institu- 
tions to their natural culmination." 

Such were the views expressed at the Montgomery 
Convention on the reopening of the African slave-trade. 
A motion to lay the report upon the table, and print it, 
was unanimously agreed to. 

So far, therefore, as the Montgomery Convention may 
be taken as representing Southern opinion, it appeared 
that that opinion was adverse to the expediency of re- 
opening the trade. In addition to the arguments I have 
briefly alluded to as presented on that occasion, others 
may be gathered from the literature of the South, and 
among them some are of considerable inter- 
these movements est, since they indicate the connection of that 

with secession. 7 • i i • • 

movement with the proposition becoming 
more and more imminent — of Southern secession. As an 
example, I may offer the following quotation : 

" In other quarters the prospect of reopening the slave- 
trade has been made an argument for the dissolution of 
the Union, and the establishment of a Southern Confed- 
eracy composed of the present slaveholding states. But 
A tu _ is it likely that such a Confederacy would 

A Southern Con- «/ *> 

nfv^reopeSYhe grant the slaveholding states that boon? 

trade. The course of things in the late Southern 

Convention would go to show that we could never hope 
for the reopening of the slave-trade by a Southern Con- 
federacy. The strongest part of that Confederacy would 
be interested in protecting the slavcsellers here at home 
against competition with the slave-sellers in Africa. Vir- 
ginia, and Kentucky, and Missouri, together with such 


other states as now derive large profits from raising ne- 
groes that are sold to Mississippi and other slaveholding 
states, would in a Southern Confederacy see, as they do 
now see, a sinfulness in the revival of the slave-trade with 
Africa that would effectually prevent them from soiling 
m,. t, , ox their Christian hands in any such bloody 

The Border States y # J 

presenfpSy S 6 business. And these communities that would 
the Eastern states, res ^ r i c t ^he slave-trade would control the 
Southern Confederacy ; they would outnumber their vic- 
tims, and force them to content themselves with the home 
market, and take their negroes at home prices. The 
northern states p-f this Southern Confederacy would seize 
a monopoly of our Southern demand for negroes. This 
was made manifest in the late Montgomery Convention, 
for just such a disposition operated upon the representa- 
tives of those slave-selling states in that Convention, and 
prevented the passage of resolutions in favor of reviving 
the slave-trade. 

" It would not be long, too, after the establishment of 
a Southern. Confederacy, before its northern members 
would begin to declaim that a country, exporting as much 
cotton as our Southern Union would export, could never 
be safe without a commercial and naval marine ; and the 
consequences of that outcry would be that they who 
raised it, having the power, would immediately institute 
such a system of legislation as would build up a national 
marine, naval and commercial, at the expense of the South- 
ern exports; so our cotton interests in a 

And be turned into cji s^\ n n it t -mt 

another New En- Southern Confederacy would soon be called 

gland, ** 

upon to pay most roundly for protection to 
merchants and seamen in Maryland, Virginia, and other 
of those more thickly-peopled states. The establishment 
of such a system of protection for seamen, it is easy to 
see, would only pave the way for a like protection for 
manufactures in our Confederacy of Southern slavehold- 


ing states. The burden of the protection would fall on 
the exporting states, and the advantages of it would be 
distributed among the dense population of our more 
northern states, for it would be those states that would 
naturally turn to commerce and manufactures rather than 
our cotton-growing community. 

" So it would appear that any project contemplating 
the existence of a Southern Confederacy as likely to se- 
cure the slave-trade for the people is founded on a double 
error. So far from doing what it proposes, we should 
not only fail to realize our dearest object of procuring ne- 
groes at cheap rates, but we should become again the 
prey of a section disposed, as its late action against the 
free-trade in negroes evinces, to use its power for build- 
And the cotton in g U P its own interests rjgardless of the 
fsh a ed s by e tn?move- rights of other sections. We should find 
that this controlling portion of the Southern 
Confederacy would turn out to be another New England 
living on the fat of our lands. To dissolve the present 
Union and erect a Southern Confederacy would be, so far 
as we are concerned, like setting fire to the ships and fac- 
tories of New England only to rebuild them in Virginia, 
and that, too, after it has been at our own cost that they 
were first built. We had better, then, hold on to the 
possessions we have already, and not throw them away 
for a delusive hope that we can get a slave-trade with 
Africa by going into a Southern government, when, in- 
stead of realizing that hope, we can only make sure of 
being precipitated into the most impoverishing of pro- 
tective tariffs under such a Southern government." 




The North was accused by the South of ingratitude for the sacrifices she had made 
to establish the Union; of avarice, in the unfair seizure of territory; of throwing 
from herself the burden of taxation ; of assaulting, through attacks on Slavery, 
the domestic life and the very existence of Southern society. 

Dueing the Kansas-Nebraska struggle it became plain 
that the South had perceived the impossibility of main- 
taining her supremacy in the Union, and henceforth con- 
templated the protection of her interests by separation. 
The labors of Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Yancey, and others, who 
had long inculcated the necessity of secession, had pre- 
pared the way for that result. 

At this point we may therefore conveniently consider 

Accusations of the wna ^ mav ^ e termed the literary aspect of 
south. jfa e controversy. It was not possible but 

that sentiments of animosity should influence the jour- 
nalism and writings of both parties. 

Not without increasing remonstrance did the South ac- 
cept her destiny. Imputing her position not 

It imputes its de- , ,1 i • n • i i , . , i 

cime to Northern to the operation oi natural causes, but to the 
political action of the North, her literature 
is full of accusations and protests. As a key to the ex- 
planation of the great events that ensued, it is necessary 
to present these statements, and the more so since, un- 
like the statesmen of the Revolution, who published to 


the world, in their Declaration of Independence, a suc- 
cinct account of the grievances they had endured, and the 
acts of tyranny that had been inflicted upon them, the 
statesmen of the South plunged into civil war without 
any formal avowal of the causes which had led them to 
that step. 

I purpose, therefore, in this and the following chapter, 
to present such opinions, accusations, and remonstrances 
as may be collected from the literature of the South, and 
the speeches of her senators and representatives in Con- 
gress, through a few years antecedent to the breaking 
out of the war. In doing this I shall simply collect and 
arrange them together, preserving, as far as may be pos- 
sible, the language, and especially the spirit of the sources 
from which they are derived. 

It was said that the geographical and territorial ques- 
tion involves every other existing between 
North as respects the North and the. South. Territorial rela- 
tions involve political relations, as the latter 
involve moral and social relations, and therefore what- 
ever has contributed to the territorial ascendency of the 
North contributes to her political, moral, and social as- 
cendency. If the North be established territorially as- 
cendent over the South, the South must prepare for ab- 
sorption by her, and, since their institutions are antago- 
nistical, those of the South are doomed to destruction. 

Let it be remarked under what circumstances and by 
what insidious acts the North has established her terri- 
torial ascendency. At the time of the General Conven- 
tion for the purpose of preparing the Constitution, all 
New England combined was not as exten- 

Great original do- . --.J? . . ^ . . , „ , , ~ 

main of some of the sive as V lrgmia, Georgia, or either of the Car- 

Southern States, \ /-? • -1 

olmas separately. Georgia and the Caro- 
linas reached to the Mississippi ; Virginia held all the re- 
gion stretching from the northwest far beyond the Ohio 


River to the Great Lakes; and, by her local law, negro 
slavery existed throughout that vast domain. In prepa- 
ration for the Ordinance of l787,Virginia surrendered to 
the Union, or, more truly, added to the power of the 
North, all the present States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan,Wisconsin. Georgia and the Carolinas follow- 
ed her example. They did this for the sake of bringing 
about " a more perfect union." 

To Virginia that union was of less moment than to any 
Especially of vir- °ther state. At the close of the Revolution- 
gmia. ar y War h er population was more numerous 

than that of any of her confederates ; she alone had a 
navy. Her domain, having every source of wealth and 
power, was as large as the Continent of Europe exclusive 
of Russia. Her land-sales to emigrants would have filled 
her treasury. On the south she was separated from 
France and Spain by Georgia and the Carolinas ; on the 
north she was defended .from Great Britain by New En- 
gland, New York, Pennsylvania. Her sea-line was am- 
ple ; in Norfolk she had one of the noblest harbors on 
the Atlantic coast. Nothing was wanted but time to 
make her the greatest power on the American continent ; 
yet, with political generosity and magnanimity, she sur- 
rendered all this, not even reserving the receipts of sales 
of her public lands, but laid every thing on the altar of 
the Union. 

With her sister Southern States in these transactions 
she surrendered nine states to the Union — Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio,' Indiana, Illinois, Mich- 
igan, and Wisconsin ; of these, the last five were given 
to the North. On her part, the North surrendered only 
two states to the Union, Vermont and Maine, and gave 
none whatever to the South. 

As the result of this magnificent surrender, the South 
threw into the general treasury a funded resource which 


Their res lendent nas yi^ld e< i enough to pay the cost of all the 
generosity. wars waged since the Revolution, or of all 

territorial acquisitions since made twice over. On the 
other hand, the North placed nothing whatever in the 
general treasury. 

Had the South at that time insisted on the application 
The mi ht had °^ ner l° ca l ^ aw i n the territory she thus 
JSomiSd o v ver yielded, her absolute political predominance 
the North. oyer ^.j ie jq-Qj^h wou lcl have been assured. 

At the time when there were twenty-four states in the 
Union, she would have had fifteen, the North only nine. 
What was the return that the South received for this re- 
splendent political generosity? a provision, 

The insignificant . . . x . , t^° , . , x , , 

equivalent they re- originating: with .rennsylvania, that "three 

ceived. 00 «/ / 

fifths of her slaves should be counted as fed- 
eral numbers in the apportionment of federal representa- 
tion ;" and one emanating from Massachusetts, that " fu- 
gitive slaves should be surrendered to their masters on 
claim being made." But have not both these provisions 
been desecrated as far as was possible, and the latter, 
particularly, absolutely rendered of no effect ? 

Let us observe the deportment of the North as respects 
conduct of the territory since obtained. At the time of 
SSitorySeoi the acquisition of Florida by purchase from 

Spain (1819) there were twenty-two states, 
equally divided between the North and the South — elev- 
en for each. The Territory of Orleans had been formed 
into the State of Louisiana, but now the District of Lou- 
isiana came to be disp6sed of; it contained what is now 
known as Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, the In- 
dian settlements, the eastern half of Kansas, the whole of 
Nebraska, Washington, and Oregon. The local law of 
negro slavery existing in Florida and Louisiana was co- 
extensive with the whole ; that law was guaranteed by 
the United States under the treaty with France ; it was 



[Sect. VI. 

also sanctioned by the Constitution. If carried into ef- 
fect, the states soon to be admitted would restore the su- 
premacy of the South, notwithstanding the overreaching 
of the North with respect to the earlier Western Territo- 
ries ceded in the beginning. The North viewed the sub- 
ject as an affair of power and sectional interest, the South 
as one of law and right. 

At this juncture Maine sent her petition to Congress, 
and was without difficulty admitted into the 

Her anti-slavery ac- TT . . . , . n AT tl .. n 

tionontheMissou- Union, giving to the JNortn a maiority ot 

ri Question. ' O O # tit- • 

one. To restore the equilibrium, Missouri 
presented herself. The North, holding a majority in the 
House of Representatives, refused her. She would re- 
member neither treaty stipulations, constitutional pro- 
vision, local law, state-rights, nor common justice. She 
threatened the very existence of the Union unless Mis- 
souri would abandon local law and surrender negro slav- 
ery. She claimed that negro slavery should be excluded 
from the west of the Mississippi. The South, amazed at 
such audacity, became indignant and disgusted. In this 
extremity, Henry Clay introduced his Compromise. But 
what was the actual operation of its twofold terms ? The 
■ . , South surrendered to the North a region five 

Ruinous effect to © 

co e mpromteem?as- times as large as that which it reserved. 
ures - From the Virginia cession of 1784-7, Michi- 

gan and Wisconsin still remained to be admitted as non- 
slaveholding states ; and from the Louisiana purchase the 
North now secured an enormous extent of territory for 
future settlement. With these overwhelming advantages, 
it might have been supposed that rapacity would be sat- 
isfied ; but, fifteen years later, the admission of Arkansas 
as a slaveholding state was resisted until balanced by the 
counter admission of the free state Michigan. 

In 1845 the question of the annexation of Texas and 
the admission of Florida came up for solution. At this 


time there were twenty-six states in the Union, thir- 
c. . ,«, ♦ teen of the North and thirteen of the South, 

State of the two * 

ofmrannVxa e tion e g* vm g an equilibrium in the Senate, but 
of Texas. leaving in other respects a vast disparity. 

The reserved territory of the South was fully exhausted, 
but to the North there remained a mighty field for fu- 
ture expansion, stretching across the continent to the Pa- 
cific Ocean. She also held a majority in the House of 
Representatives. And now a growing tendency toward 
sectional formation began to appear in the South, as it 
had long before done in the North. Future civil commo- 
tion and disunion were plainly discernible. 

The state motives for the annexation of Texas were 
The motives for *o equalize sectional antagonisms and bal- 
that annexation. ance sec ti nal limits. This accomplished, the 

Union might expand state by state, slaveholding and free, 
side by side. Domestic peace would be assured, not by 
the repression of overgrowing forces, but by bringing coun- 
ter forces into equalizing play, and foreign peace assured 
by the resulting monopoly in the supply of cotton, which 
had now become essential to the industrial pursuits of 
Europe. That monopoly would subject the manufactur- 
ing nations to our mercy, hold the civilized world in 
bonds to keep the peace, and eventually lead to the ac- 
quisition of Cuba. Texas and Cuba, united with Florida 
and Louisiana, would land-lock the Gulf of Mexico, and 
keep in security the mouths of innumerable tributaries 
flowing in all directions, watering and draining inexhaust- 
ible valleys, spreading out eastward and westward two 
thousand miles to the Alleghany Mountains on one hand, 
and to the Rocky Mountains on the other, and extend- 
ing northward an equal distance to the lake plateau, al- 
ready teeming with human life and human wealth, and 
capable of sustaining in luxurious ease three hundred 
millions of people. 


Texas presented an area equal to that of the French 
empire under Napoleon ; it measured at least 

Unfair action of , , , , "•, , 

matS rth in that ^ nree hundred thousand square miles ; it 
had valleys as large as the whole of New 
England ; it produced cotton, sugar, tobacco, grain, quick- 
silver, gold, silver, and gems. But when the question of 
its annexation was presented, the North proved hostile to 
the admission of any more slave states, and even still 
more hostile to the idea of being again equalized by the 
South in the Union. A treaty was presented to the Sen- 
ate, only to be at first rejected, and eventually conceded 
with the provision that the Missouri line should be ap- 

The annexation of Texas led to the invasion and con- 
The North grasps < l uest °. f Mexico, a magnificent episode in 
oftne e M a e d Sn ages our national annals. That was terminated 
by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. For 
twenty millions of dollars purchase money was secured 
not only the disputed territory between the Nueces and 
the Rio Grande, but also the whole region embraced in 
the Mexican departments of Upper California and New 
Mexico, to which may be added, as its legitimate fruit, 
the Mescilla Valley, procured afterward for a few millions 
more. And this was done under circumstances that left 
the whole territory to be grasped by the North. Texas 
having been admitted as a slave state, Wisconsin was hur- 
ried in as a free state, Florida and Iowa having previous- 
ly, in like manner, been admitted. There were now thir- 
ty states, equally divided between the North and the 
South, with a margin on both sides for a farther increase. 
Thus stood the Union at the time of the Mexican acqui- 
sitions, which caused the initiation of that series of meas- 
ures whose successive enactments, beginning with the 
"Wilmot Proviso" and ending with the "English Com- 
promise," have not only again re-established the control- 


ing predominance of the North, while leaving the South 
in a hopeless minority, destitute of farther means of ex- 
tension, but have imperilled the continuance of the gov- 
it secures caiifor- ernment. Already the admission of Califor- 
nia and Oregon, n ^ Oregon, and Minnesota have given to 
the North a majority of three states in the Union, and of 
six senators and sixty representatives in Congress, soon 
to be countlessly enlarged through the ceaseless admis- 
sion of other states of similar political character, with 
whose increasing numbers the limited division of Texas 
can not compete. Already the non-slaveholding power 
has grasped the legislative while commanding the execu- 
tive department of the government; already has that 
power reduced the supreme justiciary to a mere tempora- 
ry bulwark, the only bulwark of the Constitution and the 
South alike against the clamoring rule of agrarian major- 
ities and turbulent popular masses. 

In the Congressional debates arising on the adjustment 
of the acquired territory in conjunction with that of Ore- 
gon, it was contended that the South had no right to 
take slaves within the limits of the Mexican acquisition, 
since by the Constitution of Mexico, as well as by the de- 
cree of the Dictator Guerrero, slavery did not exist in 
those Territories at the time of their acquisition by the 
United States. Moreover, slavery was excluded from Or- 
egon by the terms of the Missouri Compromise. It was 
therefore insisted that the whole should be dedicated to 
free labor. In 1850 the measures proposed by Mr. Clay 
were one by one adopted, and the Territories in the one 
direction stood under the Wilmot Proviso, and in the oth- 
er direction under the Mexican laws, leaving the South 
entirely despoiled, but embracing a realm for the North 
as large as the thirty-one states of the Un- 

And obtains su- • w-ry, ^ . -,-, -, -,-y- 

premacy in the ion. lne Senate, as well as the House, pass- 
ed into the hands of the North, and the gov- 


ernment became henceforth the automatic puppet of pres- 
idential aspirants. 

The North and the South has each its own form of 

civilization. The domestic history of the 

souttTh^rSg- 116 Union is the record of a struggle of the in- 

irute force of the tellect of the South to control the ever-in- 

North, . 

creasing numbers and power of the North. 
But in the contests for territorial possessions, waged from 
the beginning of the Union, the North uniformly came 
forth the victor; the true source of her strength lay in 
the rapidity with which she could increase her popula- 
tion. If it was absolutely necessary for the South that 
there should be more slave states, those states could only 
be secured by stripping the old ones. The North, be- 
sides her natural increase, was pouring into the unoccu- 
pied West 350,000 emigrants obtained from Europe an- 
nually. There was no restraint on their in- 

But could not con- , -i . • ■ -i • • • . i 

tend against the troduction — nothing answering to the pro- 

flood of population. . , ° . ° * 

hibition that had been imposed on the South. 
In the Savannah Convention it was affirmed that the 
drain of slaves from the Border States had become so 
great that a scarcity of labor had occurred in them, and 
that either the African trade must be reopened, or labor 
must be obtained from Europe. But if the latter be the 
case, we shall experience the same evil that has befallen 
the North — that imported population will rule, and the 
servant will become the political master. It is of no use 
to be occupied in a wild hunt after new territory to pre- 
serve equality of power in the Senate. The North will 
beat us at that, for she has boundless population supplies. 
The mistake with us has been that it was not made fel- 
ony to bring in an Irishman when it was made piracy to 
bring in an African. 

The servant will become the political master ! is not 
the actual p'osition of the North a proof of that ? Look 



at the helpless and hopeless condition of her 

Disastrous mflu- -t a 

?SgrantS e the reign intelligent, her wealthier classes. Is it her 
North ' men of intellect or the demagogues of her 

rabble that are elected as the political representatives of 
her cities? Is it surprising that demoralization should 
pervade all her ranks — that the rich should amass with 
unscrupulousness and spend with extravagance, when 

Her pauper classes *W know that they are to be the victim- 
plunder the rich, j ze( j p re y f £h e needy, who, as in the old 

Roman times, under a color of law and by legal forms, 
despoil them of their wealth? Universal suffrage has 
emended the law of landlord and tenant to the disadvan- 
tage of the former ; it has interfered with the marriage 
state by facilitating divorce, and separating the estates of 
men and their wives ; it has compelled property owners 
to bear the burden of government, and liquidate the 
onerous exactions of corporators ; it has forced the rich 
to educate the children of the poor ; its next step will be 
to compel them to supply food and clothing. The lower 
classes will before long attack that which has been the 
source of Northern power ; they will insist on the stop- 
page of emigration, that they may keep up the wages of 
labor. These classes strike their blows through their 
power in the state Legislatures. Reckless assessments 
. are followed by remorseless taxation ; there 

And perpetrate in- # *> 7 

undefthe e formi°of lS nothing for the owner of a piece of prop- 
law * erty but to submit. He may profitably re- 

member that the power, which for the present has been 
satisfied with a part, could, had it pleased it, have taken 
the whole. Its exactions, grinding as they have # been, 
were still perpetrated in moderation. The point . that 
was attained in the Roman Empire has not yet been 
reached when the owner of a patrimony found it his best 
interest to abandon it without compensation and flee. 
Bands of unprincipled men, among whom liquor-sellers 


abound, consorting together with felonious intentions, 
prowl round the public buildings and plunder the public 
purse. In the city of Philadelphia, out of five hundred 
thousand people there are not fifty thousand against 
whom an execution in a civil suit could take effect. In 
exemptions of themselves from the uniform operation of 
law, and putting a premium on their poverty, the lower 
classes enforce their mandates by their votes. 

That is the price the North is paying for those popu- 
lation supplies by which it is overrunning the Western 
lands and overwhelming the South. In vain it is erect- 
ing superfluous churches, and sustaining with a lavish 
hand its voluntary ministry. Does not the experience of 
the whole world teach that no community can be virtu- 
„. . . .. ous unless its property is absolutely secure ? 

Miserable condi- . . 

cia? S e^n e thi gher Luxury and dissipation, with all their at- 
North ' tend ant vices, take firm hold of him who is 

not sure that the wealth he has to-day will be left to him 
to-morrow. His maxim inevitably becomes to enjoy 
while he can. Considering himself as the predestined 
victim of those who are for the moment beneath him, he 
reciprocates their frauds by fraud, and meets their acts of 
legalized extortion by secret dishonesty. 

We can not blame the rich for their abnegation of po- 
litical life, their carelessness about public affairs. They 
have learned by experience that they can not exert the 
slightest control. The torrent of democracy is too vio- 
lent for them to resist ; it is their best policy to drift si- 
Demoraiizationof lently out of its way. Nor is the social de- 
the women. moralization restricted to men. Masculine 

women perambulate the country, preaching the right of 
their sex to discard all feminine delicacy, and divide with 
men the labors and honors of the forum, the field, the cab- 
inet. They are to be seen in the dissecting-rooms of med- 
ical schools, preparing themselves with loathsome alacrity 


to dispute with the physician his patient and his fee. 
They do not hesitate to invade the sanctity of the pulpit, 
commending the clergyman they would displace to be- 
take himself to some more manly pursuit. 

Such has been the progress of territorial aggrandize- 
ment of the North — such the social cost at which success 
has been achieved. 

What object is there for the South to continue this 
rude competition ? A balance of power at 

The South can not 1TT -,. . . -, • . • -, ..-, 

contend with such Washington can not be maintained without 

a state of things. ° 

more states ; states can not be held without 
increased population. A stamp of infamy has been put 
upon the African supply, and, seeing what has been its ef- 
fect at the North, no virtuous patriot can desire a supply 
from Europe, or contemplate without indignation the 
domination of Irish and German vagrants. Nor does it 
seem to be worth while to ruin ourselves for the sake of 
sustaining a general government which in the nature of 
things must be shortlived. In Washington there is no 
individual with permanent responsibility ; all its political 
designs are ephemeral. True statesmanship looks to a 
distant future ; our government concerns itself only with 
the passing moment. We have no power to resist en- 
croachments ; universal responsibility means nothing. 
Do not let us deceive ourselves. Our past material 
prosperity offers us no guarantee as to what 

The past prosperity n . • . -, Ti i • 1 1 • o 

of the country aito- our iuture is to be. It aid not arise from 

gether illusory. . , 

the nature, the purity, and vigor of our gov- 
ernment, but from causes altogether extrinsic. Isolation 
from Europe secured our independence ; our lands tempt- 
ed the foreign vagrant ; our products, especially our cot- 
ton, became essential to the industry of the world ; but 
these are not conditions on which empire can be found- 
ed; it must depend on a far more enduring principle 
than fickle popular will. The rules drawn up by a man 
I.— F F 


for his own guidance are without power ; order can only 

be made sure by constraint. 

From the manner in which the North has dealt with 

the territorial acquisitions, let us turn to the 

North as respects manner in which she has dealt with the bur- 
state burdens. 

The English war left a debt of 130 millions; that war 
was closed by the treaty of Ghent in 1814. During the 
years immediately preceding a great change had occurred 
in New England. Its commerce, which had been nearly 
destroyed, had been replaced by manufactures. An impo- 
sition of high duties would accomplish a double purpose, 
giving incidental protection to the new interests, which 
without it could hardly have sustained themselves against 
foreign competition, and at the same time would meet the 
requirements of the debt. Without opposition the tariff 

Resistance of the °f 1816 was passed. Even Mr. Calhoun 
south to the tariff. warm i y promoted it. But it was not in- 
tended to be a permanent measure, or to establish the 
principle of protection. 

In 1820 it was expected that a reduction of the duties 
would take place, but the South learned that what had 
been yielded to New England at first as a favor was now 
demanded as a right. Separating the idea of provision 
for the national burdens from anticipated private gain, 
South Carolina, through her Legislature, denounced the 
system as a wretched expedient to repair the losses in- 
curred in some commercial districts by improvident and 
misdirected speculation — to compel those parts of the 
Union which are still prosperous to contribute, even by 
their utter ruin, to fill the coffers of a few monopolists in 
the others. The offensive principle, and the opposition 
to it, were now steadily gathering force. The tariff of 
1824 was declared by the Legislature of South Carolina 
to be unconstitutional ; against that of 1828, commonly 


called " the bill of abominations," she formally protested 
in the United States Senate. In 1832, losing all reason- 
able hope of redress, she resorted to Nullification, and 
thereby compelled Congress to listen to her remon- 

At the entreaty of Virginia a conflict was avoided, and 
the operation of the nullifying ordinance was postponed. 
Meantime in Congress the Compromise Act passed, the 
protecting policy was surrendered, and a gradual reduc- 
tion of all duties provided for. 

But the " Force Bill," which passed in Congress, show- 
ed how rapidly concentration of power was 
tests against the taking effect. As Mr. Calhoun in his oppo- 

" Force Bill." . . & . -it 

sition to it affirmed, " It puts at the disposal 
of the President, the army and navy, and entire militia ; 
it enables him at his pleasure to subject every man in the 
United States not exempt from militia duty to martial 
law ; to call him from his ordinary occupation to the field, 
and, under the penalty of fine and imprisonment, inflicted 
by a court-martial, to imbrue his hand in his brother's 
blood. There is no limitation to the power of the sword, 
and that over the purse is equally without restraint, for 
among the extraordinary features of this bill it contains 
no appropriation, which, under existing circumstances, is 
tantamount to unlimited appropriation. The President 
may, under its authority, incur any expenditure, and 
pledge the national faith to meet it. He may create a 
new national debt at the very moment of the termination 
of the former — a debt of millions, to be paid out of the 
proceeds of that section of the country whose dearest con- 
stitutional rights this bill prostrates." 

The system of revenue from customs is therefore a 
injustice of a reve- mos ^ stupendous injustice and deception — an 
nue from customs, ixisxctious robbery, enriching one section at 
the expense of another, and building up such centralized 


places as New York. Direct taxation would arrest an 
extravagant government, and afford one of simplicity. 
The tendency of the existing system is not only to cen- 
tralize wealth in a few large towns, but to aggregate it 
in a few hands therein, and give birth to that most vul- 
gar and despicable of all aristocracies, an aristocracy of 

If now we review the outrages of the North against 
the South, it may be said : 

The North obtained its own compromise in the Consti- 
conductofthe ^ution to continue the importation of slaves, 
SportaSonof an( l now se ^ s U P a ^ aw higher than the Con- 
siaves, stitution to abolish property in slaves which 

it sold to its neighbors. It deprived us in 1819-20 of 
an equal settlement in more than half the territory ac- 
quired from France. It seized upon Texas north of 36^ 
degrees, and then appropriated out of the slave territory 
of that state 44,000 square miles. It excluded us from 
all the domain acquired by common conquest in Mexico, 
and deprived slave labor of the privilege of operating in 
. - . .. n « the wealthiest mines ofl earth — the gold 

And in the Call- o 

fomia mines. mines of California. It bribed a slave state 
with ten millions of common funds to sustain a prohibi- 
tion of slavery in New Mexico. It insists on the aboli- 
tion of slavery in the districts, forts, arsenals, dock-yards, 
and other places ceded to the United States. It de- 
mands the stoppage of the domestic slave-trade, and thus 
it would cut off the Northern Slave States from the prof- 
its of production, and the Southern from their sources of 
supply of labor. It forbids all equality, and competition 
of settlement in the common territories by citizens of the 
Slave States. It repels all farther admission of new 
slave states. In fourteen states of the Union it has nul- 
lified the fugitive slave acts, and the South has thereby 
lost half a million of dollars of slave property annually. 


It has denied extradition of murderers, and marauders, 

and other felons. It has caused and shielded the murder 

its action on do- of masters or owners in pursuit of fugitive 

mestic slavery, s i aves# It has refused to prevent or punish 

by state authority the spoliation of slave property, and, 
on the contrary, has made it a criminal offense in the citi- 
zens of several states to obey the laws of the Union for 
the protection of slave property. South Carolina was 
threatened with executive vengeance for nullification, but 
not so these nullifying states. It has advocated negro 
equality, and made it the ground of positive legislation 
hostile to the Southern States. It opposes protection to 
slave property on the high seas. It has kept in the South 
emissaries of incendiarism, to corrupt the slaves, to induce 
them to run off, or to excite them to rebel- 

And offenses in the -■. -, . . • Ti i * ^ 

matter of the Fugi- lion and insurrection. It has carried away 

tive Slave Law. . . , _ • S 

millions 01 slave property by a system ot 
what it calls underground railroads, and has made its ten- 
ure so precarious in the Border Slave States as nearly to 
have abolitionized two of them, IV^ryland and Missouri, 
and is constantly making similar inroads upon Virginia 
and Kentucky. It is necessarily scattering firebrands of 
incendiary appeals, and extending fanaticism. It has in- 
vaded the Territory of Kansas by arms furnished by Emi- 
grant Aid Societies under state patronage, and by funds 
obtained from foreign enemies in Canada and Great Brit- 
ain. It has invaded Virginia, and shed the 'blood of her 
own citizens on her own soil. It has justified and exalt- 
ed to the highest honors of admiration and respect the 
horrid murders, and arsons, and rapine of the raid of 
w ../„,, John Brown, and has canonized that felon as 

It incites the slaves * 

to revolt, a sam t f martyrdom. It has burnt towns 

and poisoned the cattle, and formed midnight conspira- 
cies for the depopulation of Northern Texas. It has pro- 
claimed to the slaves the horrid motto, "Alarm to the 


sleep, fire to the dwellings, poison to the food and water 
of slaveholders." It has published its plan for the aboli- 
tion of slavery every where — to rescue slaves 

And promotes in- . -n n ~i o • i • j-iti 

vasionsofthe at all hazards, form associations, establish 

Slave States. 7 -i -i -n i i t 

presses, to use the vote and ballot, to disci- 
pline armed companies, to raise money and military equip- 
ments. It has circulated countless thousands 

It floods the South /» n i tt i it t r^\ • • i 

with incendiary ot a book, Helper s Impending Crisis, appeal- 

publications. . i i i i i i i i 

mg to non-slaveholders to detach themselves 
from slaveholders. It tries to communicate with slaves, 
to encourage anti- slavery emigrants in the South and 
West, to seize other property of slaveholders in compen- 
sation for the cost of running off their slaves, to enforce 
emancipation by all means, especially by limiting, har- 
assing, and frowning upon slavery in every mode and 
form, and finally by the executive, by Congress, by the 
postal service, and in every way to agitate, without ceas- 
ing, until the Southern States shall be abandoned to their 
fate, and, worn down, shall be compelled to surrender 
and emancipate their^slaves. 

It has repudiated the decisions of the Supreme Court. 
Be udiates the su- ^ nas assai l e( l the South from the pulpit, 
ESS^favehofd^s ^ ne press, the school - room. It divides all 
up to scorn, sects and religions, as well as parties. It 

denounces slaveholders as degraded by the lowest im- 
moralities, insults them in every form, and holds them up 
to the scorn of mankind. It has already a majority of 
the states under its domination ; has infected the federal 
as well as the state judiciary ; has a large majority in the 
House of Representatives of the Congress of the United 
States ; will soon have, by the new census, a majority in 
the Senate, and before it obtains the Senate certainly will 
obtain the chief executive power of the United States. 
It has announced its purpose of total abolition every 
where in the states, territories, districts, and ceded places. 


It has proclaimed an irrepressible conflict, a higher law 
than that of the Federal Constitution itself. 

And adopts Union- . -, . . .. n it it * i • • i • 

ism from mercena- And yet, in spite oi all this disorganization, 

ry motives. ,. i tt • ti • i 

it clings to the Union, as well it may, when 
it is making a profit out of it of two hundred millions of 
dollars a year. 

In vain the South falls back on state-rights, that true 
But New En land interpretation of the nature of our govern- 
sityfo? Slights" ment. It is denounced as " a pestilent here- 
as the south. gy » But let New England remem ber that 

if she succeeds in the overthrow of our slave system, 
which is guaranteed by the Constitution, the day will 
inevitably come w T hen she will have to seek protection in 
the very state-rights, she now derides. What is it that 
gives her the influence she relentlessly uses in the United 
States Senate ? What is it that puts little communities, 
like those of Rhode Island, and even of Massachusetts 
herself, on a par with the great states of the West ? What 
is it that enables her to inflict on us her atrocious tariff 
bills? It is her senatorial representation. But power is ir- 
resistibly centering in the Mississippi Valley. Not much 
longer will those rising states endure that each of their 
little confederates on the Atlantic coast shall send two 
senators to Washington, and they themselves no more. 
They will put into the scale of the balance common sense 
against the mouldy provincial charters of English kings 
and a violated Constitution. 

Let New England beware. State -rights are her pro- 
tection as much as ours. She is hastening the day when 
she will have to fight a battle for her senatorial repre- 
sentation. Let her take warning by what has occurred 
in Europe. The Constitution of the United States is not 
a more sacred instrument than were the treaties of 1815 
to the parties of the Holy Alliance. Those treaties were 
the Constitution of Europe. But little by little they 


have been violated by those who have had the tempo- 
rary power, until it may be justly asked, What are they 
worth now ? If Europe has come, will not America also 
surely come to the robber maxim that " He shall take 
who has the power, and he shall keep who can ?" 



South Carolina requested a conference with Virginia for the purpose of considering 
the dissensions between the North and the South, and the remedy for them. 

Among the arguments adduced in the Slave States in behalf of Secession are, the 
alleged temporary character of the Union ; the irreconcilable differences between 
the North and the South ; the dreadful social condition of the former. It is de- 
clared that the guarantees of the Constitution have become worthless through the 
force of events ; that the North must dominate over and ruin the South ; that it 
is itself ruled by foreign vagrants ; and that there is no salvation for the South 
but in separation. 

That Secession will give to the South security, prosperity, glory ; that the North 
will not resist it ; and that foreign nations, particularly England and France, will 
favor it. 

While secession was yet only in contemplation, South 
Carolina sent a delegation to Virginia to re- 

South Carolina re- , ,-, . n „ 

quests a conference quest, among other things, a conference 01 

with Virginia, ?V ' -i ■ i i i • it 

the slaveholdmg states, and the appointment 
of deputies to it on the part of Virginia. She represent- 
ed that the great question which underlies all action on 
T . . ... this subject is whether the existing differ- 

Inquiring whether » O 

3et5S ences between the North and South are tern- 
Sanjementh? 68 " porary or permanent — whether they result 
from accidental derangements of the body 
politic, or are indications of a normal condition. In the 
one case temporary expedients may restore soundness ; 
in the other the remedy is either hopeless, or it must be 
fundamental and thorough. 

From the representations made on that occasion, and 

also from the contemporaneous literature of 

tempts Virginia to the South, we may without difficulty gather 

secession. ' *> -i • 

the facts that were presented with a view of 
proving that the estrangement was permanent, that com- 


promises would not end it, that it was deeply founded in 

considerations m tne political condition of the two people. 
its behalf. -y^ e ma y gee wnence ft was that in South- 

ern opinion there was no hope but in secession. 

It was said ours was from the beginning a double na- 
mu TT . tionality. Our government was, in the na- 

The Union never •/ O 

Swfate^po?^ ^ure °f the case > provisional. The colonies 
purpose. fought for independence, not for union ; they 

never regarded the latter but as a temporary means for 
securing the former — a mere instrument for use at the 
moment. It was a coalition to make head against a com- 
mon enemy, the contending parties not entering into it as 
individuals, but as sovereign states. 

The North has departed from that primary condition, 
„ ,. . _._ and has made its principle of individualism 

Radical difference a 1 

the p North b SSthe the vei 7 basis of political life and of govern- 
south, ment. The South has retained the original 
conception of sovereign states. 

All the political parties, so called, which we have seen 
arise — Federalist, National Republican, State-rights, Dem- 
ocrat, Whig, etc., have been merely ephemeral phantoms ; 
the objects for which they have been struggling have 
been transitory. There are really but two parties in the 
_ . . .. Union, and they are geographical ones — the 

There is but one 7 *> o o JT 

^ASSrica^S'or North and the South ; they are contending, 
slave labor. n(J |. f or mere superiority, but for empire. 

There is but one political question, free or slave labor. 

This diversity of position originated in the social dif- 
mu * «. * ference of the Northern and Southern colo- 

The North and 

fnorigi^anSde ™te respectively — the Puritan and the Cav- 
more so by climate. SL n er _ t } ie man f i<Jeas a nd the man of ma- 
terial enjoyment. That difference has been strengthened 
by climate. The one has lived amid the austerities of 
Nature, extracting from a reluctant soil his scanty living, 
and turning to manufactures, commerce, navigation, to 


better his condition. The lot of the other has been in 
genial countries, where the necessaries of life spontane- 
ously come to his hand. Incessant immigration from Eu- 
rope, implying incessant and increasing competition, has 
continually enforced the principle of individualism in the 
one ; the abrupt stoppage of all new-comers of the labor- 
ing class has encouraged the sentiment of independence, 
and marked more and more distinctly an unchanging 
boundary between master and servant in the other. 
That radical difference — Individualism on one side, In- 
dependence on the other, is the essential 

Their Driucii)l6S of 

action are totally cause of this dissension. The North per- 

different. ... r 

sists in asserting that all men are equal. In 
the face of a thousand social facts before its own eyes, it fa- 
natically clings to that delusion. It insists that the crew 
shall manage the ship. The South, appealing to history 
and to present experience, declares that that asserted 
equality is nothing but a philanthropical fiction ; that 
man never did exist without subordination ; that, in its 
very nature, order implies a constrainer. The North is 
in error in making the individual its political basis ; the 
South is right in regarding the family as the true social 
element. The one means selfishness and low attributes ; 
the other those nobler qualities that adorn the best as- 
pects of humanity. The one means license that can only 
be kept down by force ; the other spontaneous and cheer- 
ful subordination — the master, his wife, his children, his 

In the North the abolition of slavery and the encour- 
agement of immigration have destroyed totally all ideas 
of social inequality. Every hour individualism has be- 
come more and more intense. It has engendered a clam- 
or for equal political rights and equal distribution of 
property. It has conceded independence to women in 
regard to property ; it is actually contemplating the same 


in politics. It is weakening with fearful rapidity the 
Dreadfm social marriage relation, and sapping society and 
democracies f of e the morals by increasing the facilities for di- 
vorce. It forgets that the subordination of 
sexes is the very basis of the family, and that the family 
ought to be the basis of the whole social system. The 
Northern legislator represents nothing but himself. He 
imposes heavy taxation without restraint; it increases 
his own emolument, and gives an opportunity for profit- 
able jobbery among his supporters. Personally he has 
little to be taxed. His interests are antagonistical to 
those of his constituents. He is only interested to find 
how far he can go with impunity, and hence the govern- 
ment of which he is a member must necessarily be ex- 
Their corruption travagant and corrupt. Demoralization and 
federai e |ovtm- e political debauchery have extended from 
the municipal and state governments of the 
North to the federal government at Washington. The 
United States Senate Chamber has degenerated into an 
auction -room for presidential candidates. The Roman 
empire was put up to auction once, and the rabble sol- 
diery who sold it w r ere paid in hard cash; but our repub- 
lic is outraged every fourth year ; it is sold on credit, the 
successful bidder being expected to make his payments 
out of spoils extorted from the people. 

On the other hand, in the South, the development of 

slavery and the stoppage of immigration has 

quences of south- strengthened the dogma of race inequality. 

em principles. ° ... 

The descendants of the English Cavalier will 
never consort with the black. There must be a distinc- 
tion between the master and his laborer. The master, 
from the circumstances of his life, must ever be the stead- 
fast friend of property. 

Hence race equality in the North is pitted against race 
inequality in the South; and since forms of government 


must take their shape from the ideas and necessities of 
society, there arises an unavoidable antagonism between 
the statesmanship of the two sections. It is an antago- 
nism which is radical and permanent; it is one that no 
compromise can end. 

What possible chance is there that the North will 
aw r aken from her dream and shake off her 

There is no chance 

evSshlk^offits 11 delusion? Does she not universally impute 
the wonderful prosperity she has experienced 
to the superiority of her institutions, when in truth it has 
been due to federal legislation, which has, for the encour- 
agement of her industry, laid intolerable financial burdens 
upon the South — so intolerable that once they brought us 
to the very brink of civil wsly — which has promoted labor 
immigration to the utmost for the one, and prohibited it 
to the other ? Is it to be hoped that the light of science 
will ever dispel the delusion as to the equality of man, 
the equality of races ? Is it to be hoped that the North 
will shrink aghast, before it is too late, from the gulf 
into which her society is inevitably plunging ? Wealth 
has already utterly demoralized that society. The facil- 
ity with which it is acquired makes parents indulgent 
and children extravagant. Aristocratic young men, 
brought up in idleness, can not tolerate the pace at 
which their fathers have marched to riches, fast as it has 

its society is on the been - In tneir licentious haste for acquisi- 
verge of perdition tion? ^y fljl the — ls w ^ coun terfeiters 

and forgers, and stock society with legalized thieves. 
Trade teaches them sharp practice in defrauding one an- 
other. A spurious charity substitutes prisons for gib- 
bets ; it refuses to execute a convicted murderess simply 
because she is a woman, and permits her to leave the bar 
at which she has been tried amid popular applause. 
The governors of states pardon criminals without stint, 
and turn them loose to renew their assaults on society. 


The professions feel the debasement ; the pulpits are fill- 
ed with sensation ministers and political preachers, seek- 
ing their own individual gains, and not in humility and 
truthfulness teaching morality, charity, holiness. The lit- 
erature is so sordid, and intellectually so wretched, that 
it exerts no influence on public opinion, but leaves it to 
riot in its own wantonness. The laboring man, who might 
otherwise have been contented, is disturbed with sugges- 
tions of fictitious wealth ; in periodical mobs he strikes 
for more wages and less time. He views askance the 
And of agrarian splendid abode of his more fortunate neigh- 

demoralization. i •ii •, i , -\ 

bor, with its lawns, conservatories, gardens, 
orchards, libraries, statues, pictures, carpets, and gilded 
furniture. The evil genius of society whispers in his ear 
that no man ever yet grew rich on his own labor ; that 
an aristocrat is merely the quintessence of a mob of pau- 
pers, whose life-blood has been squeezed out of them to 
give fortune and consideration to him. Under the guise . 
of charity the poor are demanding hospitals, supported 
at an expense of millions extorted from the great cities by 
compulsory taxation — retreats in which they may spend 
the winter in idleness, or where their children may be 
reared from birth. But institutions of charity, instead of 
increasing in number, should perpetually diminish, and be 
replaced by those of industry. They are only a remnant 
of monastic mediaeval times. It is not enough that the 
poor have primary schools in which the elements of learn- 
ing required by humble life are taught; they demand 
academies and colleges, which they compel the rich to 
sustain. They ask what better title God has given to the 
land than to the air, and why it is not as lawful for them 
to repossess themselves of the former as to breathe with- 
out interruption or purchase the latter. The Irish or Ger- 
man immigrant, who landed only yesterday, catches the 
agrarian contagion, and the Northern trading politician 



appeals to this as his justification for depriving the South 
of her rightful share in the Territories. These people, he 
says, having the power through universal suffrage, will 
appropriate our private estates if we do not give them 
the public lands in the West. 

It was a maxim of Mr. Calhoun, that if a man who has 
nothing be allowed to rule, there can be no safety for 
property. The tenure of office and the tenure of estates 
will never be permitted to be stable. Arbitrary confis- 
cations can be accomplished under the forms of law and 
by relentless taxation. 

If we turn from the poor to the rich, the consequences 

its wealthy classes of tne dogma of equality are at once wit- 
are nceutious. nessed in social leveling, the insecurity of 
possession, the facility of chance fortune. The rich are 
the successful vulgar of yesterday ; their children will in- 
evitably return to a like vulgar condition to-morrow. 
Can we blame their epicurean life when we consider its 
uncertainty ? Why should they not enjoy their own 
while it is yet in their possession ? Let them eat and 
drink, for to-morrow they die. The gold of California, 
the wealth of the South, has been poured in an unceas- 
ing, a living stream into New York. The wealthy classes 
of that city are in licentiousness little short of the de- 
pravity of old Rome. Jeweled ladies, in extravagant at- 
tire, sweep through the streets, or in opera - houses and 
theatres, in all the ogling harlotry of high life, wave their 
fans to troops of hermaphrodite youths. 

The Northern system must fail through the de- 
moralization it is producing among the 

Its municipal gov- n , , -\, , °. , ° 

ernments have people ; through public and private luxury ; 
through sectional strifes for sectional pur- 
poses; through the carelessness of the taxed classes 
about public affairs ; through inefficiency in the admin- 
istration of the law. Its government will be acquiesced 


in only so long as there lingers any hope of its .ade- 
quacy. Distrust is already commencing to display itself 
in the cities. New York, acknowledging her own in- 
capacity, appeals to the state to rule her. She changes 
the tyrant, but she will never get rid of. the tyranny. 
In the South, country life has an ascendency over city 
life in social and political power; in the 
ined by foreign North it is the reverse. Hence it is that 


the influence of the foreign element is bear- 
ing down every thing before it. In Great Britain the 
population of foreigners in a population of nearly twen- 
ty-one millions is little more than a quarter of one per 
cent. In our Southern country the ratio is probably 
about the same. But in twenty -nine of the principal 
cities of the North it is actually thirty-six per cent. 

We do not blame men who cut themselves loose from 
a ship which they see is hopelessly on fire. And is the 
South to be blamed when she thus contemplates the so- 
cial consequences of the dogma she has ever repudiated 
— the dogma of the equality of man — and seeks to deliv- 
er herself from what she discerns to be its inevitable ca- 
tastrophe ? 

The dissolution of the Union was written in the Decla- 
The constitntion ration of Independence ; it was foreshadow- 
o? aedMntfoT ed in the Constitution. Not all the advant- 
ages of the federal bond, and doubtless they 
have been great, can prevent that issue. So long as the 
North makes the equality of men and individualism its 
living principles of action — so long as the South has found- 
ed her society on ideas that are totally antagonistic, a 
conflict is inevitable. The little questions and little par- 
ties that half a century has produced are giving place to 
the greater question and grander parties that have un- 
derlain them all, and that now are on the eve of asserting 
their political power. 


The guarantees of the Constitution have spontaneously 
The guarantees of become absolutely worthless. That instru- 
h a e v S?com u e tion ment contains within itself the means of its 
own perversion to the domination of the 
North and the subjugation of the South. The character 
of the government may be completely changed without 
violating any constitutional forms. Constitutions are in- 
tended to protect minorities against the aggressions of 
majorities ; but the best of them is powerless for protec- 
tion under a government whose ultimate organization, by 
the exercise of federal numbers, may be made to conform 
to the wishes of the dominant section. By a majority of 
two thirds of both houses and three fourths of the states, 
the entire government may be changed. 

If the present ratio of increase of the North over the 

South should continue for twenty years, and 

dominate over and especiallv if the South should be excluded 

despoil the South. x i - m • • -i-vtt 

from the Territories, the North can legally 
and constitutionally reorganize all the departments of the 
government, and radically change its character. 

The equality of numbers which existed between the 
two sections at the origin of the government — for they 
were equal — and their consequent equality of power, has 
been destroyed by the progress of events, which forbid 
all hope of its restoration. The disparity between them 
will advance to a point at which the South will be ut- 
terly powerless to withstand the encroachment of the 
North. We have only to see how they stood a century 
ago, how they stand now, and what must be their rela- 
tion ten, twenty, or fifty years from this time. And hence 
arises for the Southern people that gravest of all ques- 
tions, How much longer can they continue in the Union 
with safety and without humiliation ? Are they willing 
to sink again to the level of colonial dependence, to ex- 
change the imperial robes of sovereignty for the liv- 
I.— G a 



[Sect. VI. 

ery of political servitude ? Shall the Union become the 
link of Mazentius, binding together the living and the 

But not alone does danger arise from this inevitable 
progress of population ; with greater alarm may the South 
look at the aggressive disposition suddenly displayed by 
Northern ideas. The Republican party of the North has 
added to the majority of numbers majority of force. It 
has ceased to esteem political virtues or moral elements 
of government. It looks only to physical power. The 
Alarming progress states of the North have become nothing 
of Abohtiomsm. more ^an geographical designations. They 

repudiate or disdain separate sovereignty, and march in 
a mass. Let us see how they propagate their ideas. 
Before 1840 the Abolitionists were an insignificant fac- 
tion. In that year they nominated a candidate for the 
Presidency, and obtained only about 7000 votes. In 1844 
they brought him forward again, and gained 62,000 votes. 
In 1852 they reached 157,000 votes. Up to this time 
they had not one vote in the electoral college, but in 
1856 they suddenly increased to 1,342,000 votes! They 
gained the voices of eleven states, with 114 electoral votes. 
Their candidate came not far from a triumphant election. 
It was plain that the North was not going to permit any 
farther extension of slavery. The demand of that party 
has steadily risen with the display of its unquestioned 
power. At first it was no slavery in the District of Co- 
lumbia ; then a restraint on the internal slave-trade ; then 
no more slave territory, no more slave states, no national 
legislation for the extradition of slaves; then the uni- 
versal denationalization of slavery ; and at last, by the 
recognition of Hayti, the equality of foreign negro pow- 
ers. If we inquire, Has the fundamental idea of the North 
shown any signs of change ? Is there any reasonable ex- 
pectation that it will pass away, never more to return, 


or will ultimately triumph and domineer? we nave our 

Such ideas will triumph, but they will triumph in an- 
archy and among ruins. The condition of the North is 
fast approaching to that of Rome in the time of Pompey, 
when, as has been affirmed, not even an angel from heav- 
en could have saved it. That universal education on 
which she is relying for deliverance will only disappoint 
her. Education has nothing to do with these things. In 
Central Asia there are relatively more persons who know 
how to read than there are in New England, and what 
is the condition of that vast country ? Moreover, intelli- 
gence joined to wickedness has ever produced the worst 
men. The North is so intoxicated with the pursuit of 
wealth that she is absolutely in danger of 

The North has de- -i. t i t i • • i t • i 

Mvered itself up to losing her own soul. Individualism has 

Individualism, ° _ 

gone to such an extent that persons can not 
co - operate on any other ground than that of private 
interest. A systematic hypocrisy pervades all her so- 
ciety in every grade. A moral , corruption has ensued 
from the objectless concentration of wealth. It would 
have been very different had there been some social 
idea kept in view ; very different had there been con- 
joined to this avarice a devotion to the advancement 
of art, philosophy, literature, science, or to the develop- 
ment of reason. But instead of this, the North has no 
sympathy with high intelligence ; she respects only social 
activity ; she persuades herself that the crew on deck 
have as extensive a horizon as the man at the mast-head, 
and derides contemplative intelligence at the general 
point of view. Occupied with the gains of the passing 
moment, she cares nothing if the state be ruined by the 
overbidding of demagogues, provided their promises are 
for her profit. Yet if she would only open her eyes she 
would see how transitory are her possessions ; that noth- 


ing can prevent a redistribution of proper- 

And can not help , , . i • -i • 

bem" ruled by its ty except a large standing army, which is 
the only possible guarantee for her society. 
That will have to come, though it may come at first un- 
der the guise of a police. The idea that government is 
a sovereignty of numbers excludes all virtue and all wis- 
dom ; it makes the rabble infallible and omnipotent ; it is 
an atheistic idea, substituting the wild whim of an irre- 
sponsible majority for conscience, and justice, and the or- 
dinances of God. 

Then it simply comes to this : the Southern States are 
Andmustcometoa silently marching in funeral procession to 
mmtary despotism, ^jj. own tomb along the path of Destiny. 

The North early discovered the inevitable advantage that 
must accrue to her from the stoppage of the African slave- 
trade and from contemporaneous free immigration from 
Europe. She has won the game of empire. In seizing 
the prize, it is for her to take care that she does not grasp 
a shadow instead of the substance ; that she does not 
surrender in the intoxication of success the very principle 
that has given her strength. A democracy must neces- 
sarily have a chief. Aristocracies need none. And so 
irresistible is the tendency to centralization in human 
affairs that no one can successfully struggle against it. 
The North will find in the ruin of the South an empire 
with the States as provinces, and the Territories as procon- 
sular governments. The generals to whom she will be 
compelled to intrust the administration of the subjugated 
countries will ingratiate themselves with their troops, as 
did the commanders of the legions of old. Each depart- 
mental army will have its favorite candidate for supreme 
power, and proclaim its own Imperator, as was the case 
in Rome. 

If the question already propounded be again pressed 
upon us, Are the causes of our national alienation tempo- 

Chap. XXVII.] 



rary or permanent ? Do they result from accidental de- 
rangements, or have they insinuated themselves inextri- 
cably into our system ? Can they be ended by compro- 
mises, and harmony be truly restored ? This must be 
our reply — that the alienation depends on 

The differences be- .... . . . . . n . . mi 

tweeu the sections an intrinsic constitution of our nation, ine 

are irreconcilable. 

people ot the North and those of the feoutn 
have had a different origin ; they have lived in different 
climates ; they are actuated by different ideas ; they 
have had a different history ; there is absolutely no hope 
of restoring equality between them. Power has passed 
to the North, and the South, if she remain in the Union, 
must be in humiliation, her labor and her society at the 
mercy of her rival. 

What then remains but secession ? 

Secession will release us from all farther vexatious en- 
tanglements w T ith the North: it will leave 

The only salvation . , n . 

ofthesonthisin our rivals tree to pursue to its consequences 

separation. . . . * x 

their principle of human equality, and us to 
develop ours of subordination ; it will separate yoke-fel- 
lows who are unequally matched, who have no motive of 
action in common. The North may rejoice, since perhaps 
she may persuade herself that she is delivered from the 
responsibility she so deprecates in our sin. We shall cer- 
tainly have no reason to regret that we are no longer in- 
volved in her impending social catastrophe. 

It will give us a present imperial domain of more 

than 800,000 square miles, inferior to no re- 
Advantages that . ., . - .,,.. -. . -1.T 

may be expected mon upon earth in fertility — a domain which, 

from secession. ° x . • -i * • i 

as experience shows, is destined to furnish 

clothing for the whole world. Its genial climate yields 

every thing that man can desire. We shall 

Population and ter- -, -, ,. n ,,,. , -i • 

ritoriai position of nave a population ot ten millions to besrm 

the South. r r . . & 

with — a population at once religious and 


conservative, and yet capable of rapid advancement in 
civilization. Moreover, we must remember the remark 
of Montesquieu, that it is better to have a great treasury 
than a great people, and our cotton will supply that. 
Our land is stored with untold resources of mineral and 
metallic wealth. We shall have a surplus revenue of two 
hundred millions, a shore-line four times the extent of 
theirs. Masters of the mouth of the Mississippi, we shall 
hold in dependency all the vast regions drained by its 
farthest streams. As the Romans, basing their political 
life on a slave system, and availing themselves of the ad- 
vantages of an interior sea, soon brought their feebler 
neighbors into subjection, solidly establishing themselves 
all round the Mediterranean, so the Gulf of Mexico and 
the. Caribbean will be a Mediterranean for us. Feeble 
communities, such as those of Mexico and Central Amer- 
ica, can be easily conquered by arms, or still more easily 
by gold. They will submit to the fate of Egypt, and 
Syria, and Greece. Cuba, Jamaica, Hayti, will follow the 
fate of Cyprus, Sardinia, Sicily. Across a narrow isth- 
mus is the Pacific Ocean, and where the West merges 
into the East are the venerable empires and the wealth 
of Asia. 

We shall have from Chesapeake Bay to the Eio Grande 
a homogeneous governing population, united by a com- 
mon interest, and in slavery having a common political 
bond. Our social economy will necessarily 

Military character -, .-... *• . 

ofthenewrepub- make us a military people; our extensive 
sea contact will make us a naval power. If 
the slave-trade be reopened, every Southern citizen must 
become a permanent soldier. It was so in Rome. Re- 
taining in our control the means of withholding or sup- 
plying the raw material on which the chief industry of 
Western Europe depends, our friendship must be court- 
ed by the most civilized states of that continent. 


There is no danger that the North will resist our sep- 

The North wm not ara tion if on ty we present a bold front. 
resist secession. True, the Union has been an inestimable 

privilege to her, but it is the habit of commercial com- 
munities to be accustomed to changes in partnerships. 
They are broken down, and modified, and renewed to suit 
the necessities of the moment. She does not realize that 
in fact we are two distinct people, and perhaps will satis- 
fy herself with a delusive hope that if for a few years we 
part, we shall at last gravitate back to the Union. She 
will make no war ; or if, taking advantage of the vexa- 
tion of the moment, her trading politicians goad her on to 
coercion, it will be a feeble attempt. The avaricious spir- 
it of merchandise counts the cost of all its undertakings ; 
it will compute what the Union is worth, and whether a 
war will pay. 

One of our statesmen, who is profoundly acquainted 
with the character of our antagonist, has declared that he 
will undertake to drink all the blood that will ever be 
shed in this struggle. A peaceful separation it will be ; 
and if not, what have we to fear ? Accustomed to horses 
and arms from our youth, we can carry devastation 
through the valleys of the North, and lay her rich cities 
under ransom. In the ear of the Puritan we will call the 
roll of our slaves under the shadow of the Bunker mon- 

Nor must it be forgotten that while in this undertak- 
ing we are united as one man, our antago- 

She will be divided .. »ni t • i i a i i ' i • i 

into contending mst will be divided. A great party, which 
for many years ruled the nation, will, when 
the emergency comes, take sides with us. Regarding the 
dissension as nothing more than a struggle for spoils, it 
will complacently plume itself in the expectation that a 
new compromise can be effected through its alliance with 
us, and that we may participate together in another pe- 


riod of power. Political parties never look beyond the 
platform on which they stand. They only discern w T hen 
it is too late that a new epoch has come, and that their 
functions are ended. 

But not only may we count upon the unwarlike char- 
acter of our rival, the pusillanimity engendered by trade, 
the delusion of old party associations ; we shall also have 
troops of friends in those who are connect- 

And among these ± 

Men e drt 1 o 1 tn 3 e many e( l w ^ n us by mercantile transactions, who 
south. are g a i n j n g fortunes out of our wealth. From 

the injustice that has for so many years been practiced to- 
ward us in diverting our riches to the financial centres 
of the North, we shall extract a compensation at last. 
That prize is too valuable to be lightly surrendered; it 
will yield staunch, though they may not be disinterested 

If from America we turn to Europe we have every rea- 
son for encouragement. In the saying, now become pro- 
verbial among us, that cotton is king, there is a profound 
political truth. Manufacturing industry is almost entire- 
ly dependent on our agricultural prosperity, and so inti- 
mately affiliated is one branch of business with another, 
that a cessation, or even an interruption in our customary 
supply of that fibre would shake the financial world to 
its centre. So completely has England become depend- 
The south win be en "k on us in this respect that her interests 

aided by England, ^ nQW i( J entified with ours# g}ie ig rec(m . 

ciled to slave labor by its fruits. Her interests have cor- 
rected her philanthropical aberrations. In Liverpool and 
Manchester our institution finds able and energetic sup- 
port. Ideas of social inequality, such as we have adopt- 
ed, have long furnished her with rules of government ; in- 
deed, as history shows, she has ever been under their 
guidance. Her aristocratic and ruling classes can not do 
otherwise than look with favor on our attitude ; they can 


not help seeing in us the counterpart of themselves. Her 
lower and a portion of her middle people, who are still 
infatuated with the delusions inculcated by Clarkson and 
Wilberforce, may hold aloof, or perhaps be found in op- 
position — the Northern dogma of the equality of men 
commends itself to their approval — but then they can 
exercise no influence in determining national action. 
Moreover, England has not forgotten the events of the 
American Revolution. If the colonies were 

Whose old. r6Coll6c- . 

tions will incite her right in accomplishing one separation, are 

to retaliation. © . , . & , r . ^ 

not the states right in accomplishing anoth- 
er ? The bitter cup of which she was once compelled to 
taste she may aid in presenting to her enemy, for in what 
other relation has she ever regarded the Union than that 
of an enemy ? She has not seen unconcerned its prodig- 
ious material development, and especially the increase of 
its maritime power. The duels of the frigates, the re- 
pulses of the last war, are not forgotten. If even she had 
no consideration for us, she will go as far as she may to 
break the Union down. 

Should the North blockade our coast, she will deride 
its power, and find means of furnishing us with supplies 
and munitions of war. Her influence with other great 
powers will be exerted in our behalf. To her we shall 
be indebted for recognition as an independent nation. 

Of France we perhaps might despair were it not for 
her enlightened ruler. Her American souvenirs are very 
different from those of England. She prides herself that 
the glories of the Union were kindled at the flame on her 
altar ; that, in the supreme moment of colonial triumph 
at Yorktown, French soldiers and French ships were pres- 
ent. She sees in transatlantic maritime power a counter- 
poise to the power of England. 

But to her emperor, next after the glory of his coun- 
try, is the stability of his dynasty. The history of seven- 


ty years has taught him that that depends on 
or wm befriend the England. To England his personal obliga- 
tions are profound. He always will, as far as 
an independent monarch may, acknowledge those obliga- 
tions. In matters not of vital concernment to France, he 
will gratify the wishes of England. In our struggle he 
will be found in close alliance with her. 

Thus, in whatever direction we look, at home or 
And hence seces- abroad, the prospect is encouraging. ^ To re- 
pr^sperityYnd d t0 main where we are is to await the inevita- 
ble approach of civil death — to secede is to 
secure prosperity and national glory. 

Such were some of the arguments urged by the Cotton 
States on the Border States ; but not until 
thefe n vfews reluct- many weeks after South Carolina had taken 
her fatal determination and tasted of the 
mortal fruit of secession did Virginia follow her example, 
and then not with a conscience convinced. Virginia saw 
the hollo wn ess of the allurements ; she knew that upon 
her must fall the first and heaviest blows. There was 
something melancholy and grand in the motives that de- 
cided her at last to make a common cause with her im- 
petuous companion. They bore no small resemblance to 
those which the great English poet has so exquisitely 
described on a not dissimilar occasion : 

"No, no; I feel 
The link of Nature draw me. Flesh of my flesh, 
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state 
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe .... 

"For with thee 
Certain mv resolution is to die." — Paradise Lost, Book ix. 



Though the South had become committed to the support and promotion of Slavery, 
and was ready to enter upon Secession in its behalf, there were among the lead- 
ing men some who foresaw the ruin that would be inevitably occasioned by that 
measure, and protested against it. 

Speech of the future Vice-President of the Confederate States against Secession 
and in defense of the Union. 

For many years before she took the fatal step of seces- 
mu a «.',. sion, the South could think of nothing; but 

The South becomes 7 o 

sSg&idelof 8 *av- slavery. To understand her condition we 
have only to look at the subjects considered 
in any of her annual Conventions, such, for instance, as 
that at Knoxville, where a thousand delegates were pres- 
ent. Their time was occupied in discussions respecting 
the removal of the African slave squadron ; the exclusion 
of abolition reporters ; exemption of one slave from lia- 
bility for debt ; necessity of increased slave labor at the 
South ; the Fugitive Slave Law ; approval of the intro- 
duction of slavery into Nicaragua ; organization of slave 
police. So engrossing had the slave idea become that it 
was the standard by which every thing was measured. 
Infatuated with that one idea, she could not perceive 
that secession meant armies, war, centraliza- 

It blinds her to the .. /» • »i i • • t, , 

true meaning of se- tion oi civil power, despotism. It meant 

cession, . 

that even before warlike resources could be 
brought into operation there must be conscriptions, forced 
loans, arbitrary contributions. It meant suspension of 
the habeas corpus, confiscation of estates, martial law, a 
reign of conspirators, and a victim — that victim herself. 
Never was a people more thoroughly victimized. In a 


a *«. * ♦* few months the state -rights for which she 

And that state- o 

tiletne^dSap- na( l risen had utterly disappeared; every 
pear ' thing was irresistibly concentrating in Rich- 

mond. The very men who had brought on the war to 
maintain, as they affirmed, the right of a state to secede, 
were the first to deny that right when it was asserted 
against themselves, and were urgent to put a state that 
alleged it under martial law. The Southern people soon 
exhibited that awful condition into which Tacitus says 
the Romans fell during the reign of Domitian ; they lived 
in muteness. They were perpetually looking for a rain- 
bow in a shower of blood. Would they ever have rushed 
into secession if they could have foreseen all this ? 

History shows that it is far better for a nation to con- 
stitute one great empire than be composed of many little 
states. The Roman peasantry, delivered from their petty 
local tyrants, were always attached to the empire, which 
put an end to little wars, and gave them peace. Had 
And the smaller ^ ne South succeeded in her attempt, there 
states he ruined. wou ^(j have been interminable intestine wars, 
in which the smaller states would have been ground to 
dust. In her unreflecting haste, South Carolina forgot 
that in the commonwealth of nations it is physical power 
alone that determines position. 

However, there were not wanting in the South men 
of great experience and of large understanding, some of 
them destined to play a conspicuous part in the grand 
drama that was at hand, who, knowing that too often the 
very substance of ambition is only the shadow of a 
dream, saw through all the specious fallacies of secession, 
and raised a warning voice to their countrymen. Among 

secession resisted sucn was Alexander H. Stephens, shortly to 
hy Mr. Stephens. "b econie yi ce - President of the Confederacy. 
In the secession Convention of Georgia he said : 

" This step — secession — once taken, can never be recall- 


ed, and all the baleful and withering conse- 
nt me 

against it. 

His speech in the 

convention quences that must follow (as you will see) 

will rest on this Convention for all coming 
time. When we and our posterity shall see our lovely 
South desolated by the demon of war, which this act of 
yours will inevitably provoke — when our green fields and 

waving harvests shall be trodden down by a 

It will bring an in- -, 1 -. . -, , *. « « 

vasionofthe murderous soldiery, and the nery car ot war 

South, it -i 

sweeps over our land, our temples of justice 
laid in ashes, and every horror and desolation upon us, 
who but this Convention will be held responsible for it, 
and who but him who shall have given his vote for this 
unwise and ill-timed measure shall be held to a strict ac- 
count for this suicidal act by the present generation, and 
be cursed and execrated by posterity in all coming time 
for the wide and desolating ruin that will inevitably fol- 
low this act you now propose to perpetrate ? 

" Pause, I entreat you, and consider for a moment what 
And is utterly un- reasons you can give that will satisfy your- 
justinabie. selves in calmer moments — what reasons you 

can give to your fellow-sufferers in the calamity that it 
will bring upon us. What reasons can you give to the 
nations of the earth to justify it ? They will be the calm 
and deliberate judges of this case, and to what cause or 
one overt act can you point on which to rest the plea of 
justification ? What right has the North assailed ? what 
interest of the South has been invaded \ what justice has 
been denied? and what claim, founded in justice and 
right, has been unsatisfied ? Can any of you name to-day 
one governmental act of wrong, deliberately 

The government -. -, n -iji ±_ r 

has invaded no and purposely done by the government at 

ri^ht of the South. x x J t/ o 

Washington, of which the South has a right 
to complain ? I challenge an answer. On the other hand, 
let me show the facts (and believe me, gentlemen, I am 
not here the advocate of the North, but I am here the 


friend, the firm friend and lover of the South and her in- 
stitutions, and for this reason I speak thus plainly and 
faithfully for yours, mine, and every other man's interest 
the words of truth and soberness), of which I wish you 
to judge, and I will only state facts which are clear and 
undeniable, and which now stand in the authentic records 
of the history of our country. 

" When we of the South demanded the slave-trade, or 
. . • the importation of Africans for the cultiva- 

It conceded the i 

twSj^LSTanda ti ° n ° f 0Ur lands > did the J not 7 ield the "gilt 

Fugitive siave Law. for twenty years % when we asked a three 
fifths representation in Congress for our section, was it 
not granted ? When we demanded the return of any fu- 
gitive from justice, or the recovery of those persons owing 
labor or allegiance, was it not incorporated in the Consti- 
tution, anji again ratified and strengthened in the Fugi- 
tive Slave Law of 1850 ? 

" Do you reply that in many instances they have vio- 
lated this compact, and have not been faithful to their en- 
gagements ? As individuals and local communities they 
may have done so, but not by the sanction of govern- 
ment, for that has always been true to Southern inter- 
ests. Again, look at another fact. When we asked that 

it has obtained for m ? re territory should be added, that we 
the south territory, j^jg^ spread the institution of slavery, did 

they not yield to our demands in giving us Louisiana, 
Florida, and Texas, out of which four states have been 
carved, and ample territory left for four more, to be add- 
ed in due time, if you by this unwise and impolitic act do 
not destroy this hope, and perhaps by it lose all, and 
have your last slave wrenched from you by stern military 
rule, or by the vindictive decree of a universal emancipa- 
tion, which may reasonably be expected to follow ? 

" But again, gentlemen, what have we to gain by this pro- 
posed change of our relation to the general government ? 


We have always had the control of it, and can yet have 

if we remain in it, and are as united as we have been. 

We have had a majority of the Presidents 

The South has had , n ■ -1 r< j i n ji ii 

a preponderance of chosen from the feoutn, as well as the control 

places and profits. ' 

and management of most of those chosen 
from the North. We have had sixty years of Southern 
Presidents to their twenty -four, thus controlling the ex- 
ecutive department. So of the judges of the Supreme 
Court, we have had eighteen from the South, and but 
eleven from the North. Although nearly four fifths of 
the judicial business has arisen in the Free States, yet a 
majority of the court has always been from the South. 
This we have required, so as to guard against any inter- 
pretation of the Constitution unfavorable to us. In like 
manner, we have been equally watchful over our interests 
in the Legislative branch of the government in choosing 
the presiding officer (jpro tern?) of the Senate — we have 
had twenty -four, and they eleven. Speakers of the 
House we have had twenty • three, and they twelve. 
While the majority of the representatives, from their 
greater population, have always been from the North, 
yet we have generally secured the speaker, because he, to 
a great extent, shapes and controls the legislation of the 
country. Nor have we had less control in every other 
department of the general government. Attorney gen- 
erals we have had fourteen, while the North have had but 
five. Foreign ministers we have had eighty-six, and they 
but fifty-four. While three fourths of the business which 
demands diplomatic agents abroad is clearly from the 
Free States, because of their greater commercial interests, 
we have, nevertheless, had the principal embassies, so as 
to secure the world markets for our cotton, tobacco, sugar, 
on the best possible terms. We have had a vast majority 
of the higher officers of both army and navy, while a larger 
proportion of the soldiers and sailors were drawn from 


the North. Equally so of clerks, auditors, and comptrol- 
lers filling the executive department ; the records show 
for the last fifty years that of the three thousand thus 
employed, we have had more than two thirds, while we 
have only one third of the white population of the re- 

" Again, look at another fact — and one, be assured, in 

TheNorthhasbeen which we have a great and vital interest- 
taxed for its benefit, y. - s ^^ f revenue? or means of supporting 

government. From official documents we learn that 
more than three fourths of the revenue collected has uni- 
formly been raised from the North. 

" Pause now, while you have the opportunity, to con- 
template, carefully and candidly, these important things. 
Look at another necessary branch of government, and 
learn from stern statistical facts how matters stand in 
that department. I mean the mail and post-office priv- 
ileges that we now enjoy under the general government, 
as it has been for years past. The expense for the trans- 
portation of the mail in the Free States was, by the Re- 
port of the Postmaster General for 1860, a little over 
$13,000,000, while the income was $19,000,000. But 
in the Slave States the transportation of the mail 
was $14,716,000, and the revenue from the mail only 
$8,000,265, leaving a deficit of $6,715,735 to be sup- 
plied by the North for our accommodation, and without 
which we must have been entirely cut off from this most 
essential branch of the government. 

"Leaving out of view for the present the countless 
millions of dollars you must expend in a war with the 
North, with tens of thousands of your sons and brothers 
slain in battle and offered up as sacrifices on the altar of 
your ambition — for what ? I ask again. Is it for the 
overthrow of the American government, established by 
our common ancestry, cemented and built up by their 


sweat and blood, and founded on the broad principles of 
Right, Justice, and Humanity ? I must declare to you 
here, as I have often done before, and it has also been de- 
The government is dared by the greatest and wisest statesmen 
evlr^beentosti-* 8 an( J patriots of this and other lands, that the 
American government is the best and freest 
of all governments, the most equal in its rights, the most 
just in its decisions, the most lenient in its measures, and 
the most inspiring in its principles, to elevate the race of 
men, that the sun of heaven ever shone upon. 

" Now for you to attempt to overthrow such a govern- 
ment as this, under which we have lived for 
attempting its more than three quarters of a century, in 


which we have gained our wealth, our stand- 
ing as a nation, our domestic safety, while the elements 
of peril are around us, with peace and tranquillity, accom- 
panied with unbounded prosperity and rights unassailed, 
is the height of madness, folly, and wickedness, to which 
I will neither lend my sanction nor my vote." 

So spake the future Vice-President of the Confederate 
States. He saw that the waxen image of the Confeder- 
acy would lose its form when set in the fire of war, and 
that it was not the North, but the South, that must sub- 
mit to invasion. He knew that a rebellion thrown on 
the defensive is lost. And truly did he foretell the hide- 
ous desolation, the unutterable ruin that was provoked. 
These things he said in the Convention of Georgia in 
1861. Whoso passed through the stifling smoke that 
rose from the wreck of the cities of Georgia in 1864 saw 
an accomplished prophecy. 
I.— H H 



The North affirms that the alleged sacrifices of the South on behalf of the Union 
are imaginary ; that Virginia had no claims to the Northwest Territory ; that, on 
her own principles, it belonged to the whole Union ; that the North has chiefly 
paid for all the territory since acquired, and has borne the main burden of taxa- 
tion ; that her conscience has been outraged by the Fugitive Slave Law ; that 
the South has acted ignobly in the matter of the three-fifths slave computation ; 
that she originated tariffs and made use of them as long as it suited her purpose, 
thereby creating her cotton and sugar industry. That her deplorable condition 
is not due to unfair legislation, but to her slave institution and slaveholding dem- 
agogues ; that, whatever may be said of the state of society in the North, it is 
incomparably better than that of the South. 

The Free States were not without a reply to the accu- 
Repiy of the North sations of the South. I shall therefore, in 
this chapter, follow the course pursued in 
Chapter XXVI., collecting and arranging the several facts 
and arguments presented by various writers, members of 
Legislatures, and other public speakers, and endeavor to 
present from their comprehensive and lucid statements a 
clear view of that side of the case. 

It is affirmed that the North has insidiously grasped 
The new domains a ^ ^ ne Territories, and secured of them more 
paidfofbytiJl fly than a just share. Louisiana, Florida, Texas, 
and other Mexican possessions, have been 
acquired by the Union, but of the hundreds of millions 
that they have directly or indirectly cost, at least five 
sixths have been obtained by indirect taxation from the 
Free States. 

The South points to what she designates the magnifi- 
cent surrender by Virginia of the Northwest Territory, 
and affirms that all the advantage she gained in return 


was the three-fifths slave computation, and the enactment 
of a fugitive slave law. But, as was forcibly declared 
Virginia had reaiiy by tne otner states at that time, what would 
N or c t 1 h^s t t , Terri- the claims of Virginia to that Territory have 

amounted to had they not been made good 
by the blood and treasure of her sister states? What 
was it that Virginia herself, when her interest had some- 
what changed, said, in the resolutions of her Legislature 
in 1847: "Resolved unanimously ,That all territory which 
may be acquired by the arms of the United States, or 
yielded by treaty with any foreign power, belongs to the 
several states of the Union as their joint and common 
property, in which each and all have equal rights." Out 
of her own mouth let her be judged ! 

As to the three-fifths slave computation, it was not the 

equivalent of any imaginary territorial ces- 

Explanation of the . .. , a -, , n n „ 

three-fifths slave sion bv the feoutn, but the equivalent 01 

computation. \ ' x 

something that now may very properly be 
brought into light. It was expected that the necessary 
revenue for federal purposes would be raised by direct 
taxation, not by customs, and it was provided that rep- 
resentation and taxation should be apportioned on the 
basis of population. If, therefore, the three -fifths slave 
computation was conceded, an increased share of the pub- 
lic burden was the equivalent. But how did the matter 
actually turn out ? Four times only since the establish- 
ment of the government has direct taxation been resort- 
ed to, and then to insignificant amounts. Two millions, 
three millions, six millions, three millions — or fourteen 
millions in all, and that in the course of more than sev- 
enty years — less than two hundred thousand dollars a 

year. The South has exercised the advant- 

The South has nev- •• •ii.lii 11,1 

er paid any equiva- age she gamed, but she has never had the 

lent tax. - 

magnanimity to suggest a new and just 
equivalent — exercised it she has to some purpose : it has 


given her one eleventh of the House of Representatives, 
a vote that on many occasions has secured her a majority. 
It enabled her to elect Mr. Jefferson in 1800, and to change 
the very destiny of the nation. It has been the true cause 
of the monopoly she had for so many years in the gov- 
ernment. The consideration for which the North en- 
tered into that agreement thus failed. Magnanimously, 
though greatly to her detriment, the North acquiesced in 
that result. 

We were brought by South Carolina to the verge of 
civil war in 1832 on the question of the tar- 

It was the South, . ^ -ttti • 1 1 1 1 n ± / « t 

not the North, that lit. Who was it that first constrained us to 
that mode of obtaining revenue ? We have 
just seen who was the gainer by the suppression of direct 
taxation. Protective tariffs were the policy of the South : 
at their inception they were resisted with an earnest op- 
position by the North. Did not Mr. Calhoun advise that 
policy, expecting that the extension of domestic manufac- 
tures would increase the market for cotton ? That great 
staple actually owes its successful cultiva- 

She thereby created .. . . -■ . -■ . n . . • -r»ii 

her cotton and sug- tion to this policy ot protection. By the 

ar culture. x ^ * ^ 

revenue law of 1789 a duty of three cents a 
pound was laid on imported cotton, expressly for the 
purpose of fostering its domestic production. There was 
not for many years a pound of cotton spun — no, not for 
candle-wicks to light the humble industry of the cottages 
of the North, which did not pay that tribute to the South- 
ern planter. No state in the Union has derived greater 
advantage from the protective policy than Louisiana. 
She owes the sugar culture to it. It would not be diffi- 
cult to show that a tax of five millions a year is paid for 
the benefit of planters of that Southern state. 

But of all the grievances of which the South complains, 
Northern interference with slavery is by far the most 
important. It is affirmed that the Free States, partly 


through their innate fanaticism, and partly 

The North has nev- ,-, -1 •» • • *i i_ 1 i ti 

er changed on the through foreign incitement, nave gradually 
become hostile to her institutions ; that abo- 
litionism, taking its origin among them, has gradually at- 
tained its present fearful proportions. It is perfectly true 
that, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and 
long afterward, there was no sectional difference between 
the North and the South on the subject of slavery. It 
was by both regarded as a social and political evil. It is 
the South that has changed, not the North, It was not 
the discovery that the climate of the North is unpropi- 
tious to slavery, but that the climate of the 

But the South did <-, , -1 • i*-it i i i j ,i i 

change because of boutn is admirably adapted to the produc- 
tion of cotton, which was the cause of that 

The anti-slavery sentiment, then, was not engendered 
by Northern fanaticism and developed by Northern per- 
versity. In this respect the North remains as she has al- 
ways been. She participates in a sentiment common to 
modern civilization. Had it not been for the invention 
of mechanical improvements, which stimulated the culti- 
vation of cotton, and gave birth to an interest in the 
South powerful enough to override all other interests, 
and depending for its perpetuation on negro slavery, the 
two sections of the country would have been found in ac- 
cordance on this point at the present day. As to the 
sale by the North of its slaves to the South, nothing of 
the kind ever took place. 

As respects the Fugitive Slave Law, it is not denied 
that the North, true to the instincts of liber- 
consciSfce 11 ^ thl ty that have ever guided her, has been pro- 
raged by the Fugi- foundlv agitated bv the demand that she 

tive Slave Law. 1 -1 • • • • 

should join m returning the bondman to his 
oppressor. If in this individuals, and even states, are ac- 
cused of delinquency, may they not securely appeal to 



[Sect. VI. 

conscience and the noblest sentiments of the human 
heart? In the refined and elegant society of Charleston 
itself, what would be the verdict on that man who should 
needlessly go out of his way to intercept or hunt down a 
barefoot fleeing slave ? Is there in all that Southern land 
a mother to be found who, if she should detect a way- 
worn negro woman, with her infant on her back, escaping 
to freedom, would voluntarily give the alarm ? May the 
vengeance of God fall heavily on us if we are ever seen 
abetting that institution of atrocious wrong and unut- 
terable wickedness, which sells the husband away from 
his wife, the mother from her child ; which exposes on 
an auction-block, to the highest bidder, the young girl 
just entering on womanhood, and outrages by such an 
abominable spectacle the whole civilized world. 

At the beginning of our national life the South in 
many respects had greatly the advantage of 
us. How is it that we have steadily risen to 
has been declining, wea ith an( j power, while she has as steadily 

declined? In 1790 Virginia had double the population 
of New York ; in fifty years that proportion was reversed, 
and New York had double the population of Virginia. 
With that increase in numbers, so vastly had her wealth 
increased that the single city of New York alone was 
more valuable than the whole State of Virginia. Massa- 
chusetts and North Carolina started not unequally in 
their career of independence, and now the annual prod- 
uct of the manufactures, mines, and mechanic arts of the 
former are worth double the entire cotton crop of all the 
Southern States. Boston, the capital of the one, has car- 
ried the national flag into every part of the world, and 
made her intellectual power felt wherever the English 
language is spoken ; but who has ever heard of Beaufort, 
which ought to have been a great commercial capital to 
the other? In Massachusetts there are fewer than nine- 

The North has 
been advancing 
while the Soutl 


teen hundred white and free-colored persons over twenty 
years of age who can not read and write ; in North Car- 
olina there are of the same class more than eighty thou- 
sand in that unfortunate condition. To them must be 
added nearly three hundred thousand slaves who are left 
in animal ignorance. 

It is in vain to say that American independence has 
proved a delusion — a misfortune to the South: that it 
were better if the Revolution had never occurred. It is 
true that the commercial prosperity of the Slave States has 
gone. The importations of Charleston are less now than 
they were a century ago. Virginia was at that time the 
leading commercial province ; South Carolina the next. 
But, had the country still remained in subjection to En- 
gland, to England those states must have resorted, as they 
do to the North, for every article of use and luxury. 
And is indebted to Thence they would have derived their &o- 
ofdSiTdomeTtif mestic, manufacturing, commercial supplies, 
matches to light their cigars, and capital to 
build their railroads, coffee-mills, steam-ships, and all the 
unmentionable articles of female fashions. Not without 
truth is it said, "You want Bibles, brooms, buckets, and 
books, and you go to the North ; you want pens, ink, 
paper, wafers, envelopes, and you go to the North ; you 
want shoes, hats, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, pocket-knives, 
and you go to the North ; you want furniture, crockery, 
glass-ware, pianos, and you go to the North ; you want 
toys, primers, school-books, fashionable apparel, machin- 
ery, medicines, tomb-stones, and a thousand other things, 
and to the North you go for them." 

How is it that in this manner the Slave States have 
become literally helpless? How is it that the mass of 
the people are steeped in poverty and ignorance ? How 
is it that in the very pursuit to which they have restrict- 
ed themselves, agriculture, the value of the same products 


at the North is annually fifty millions of dollars more 
than theirs? The hay crop alone of the Free States 
brings more in the market than all the cotton, tobacco, 
and rice put together, no matter if it is consumed in the 
feeding of the livestock. The milk sold in the three 
cities New York, Philadelphia, Boston, is worth more than 
all the pitch, tar, rosin, and turpentine that the South 
boasts so much of producing. So completely is she out- 
stripped in the race for wealth, that the Free State of 
New York, as appears from the census, could alone buy 
up eight of the Slave States, and have one hundred and 
fifty-three millions of dollars still left in her pocket. The 
entire wealth of the Free States is double that of the 
Slave States, even including an exorbitant estimate for 
the value of the slaves ! 

If from the actual state of things we turn to the future 
Her prospects, by prospect, what is it that the census shows ? 
sfon^Ireb'SfoSing In the older Slave States the crops are annu- 
depiorabie. ally decreasing. In the Legislature of Vir- 

ginia it has been said : " See the widespreading ruin pro- 
duced in the South — a sparse population of freemen, de- 
serted habitations, fields without culture. The wolf, driv- 
en back long since by the approach of man, is now re- 
turning, after the lapse of a hundred years, to howl over 
the desolations of slavery." " In that part of Virginia 
below tide- water, the whole face of the country wears an 
appearance of almost utter desolation. The very spot on 
which our ancestors landed a little more than two hund- 
red years ago, seems to be on the eve of again becoming 
the haunt of wild beasts." On all the old Atlantic South- 
ern States the dusky night of political death is settling. 
Virginia, once great and prosperous, is sinking under the 
poison of slavery. 

Must there not be something absolutely wrong at the 
bottom of all this decline and degradation ? Let us com- 

Chap. XXIX.] 



pare together any Northern with any Southern State, and 

we see at once what that something is. Take, 

Free and siave for instance, Free Michigan and Slave Arkan- 

State. ' , ° 

sas. They were admitted together into the 
Union in 1836. At the end of twenty years the Free 
State had thrice the population of the Slave ; five times 
the assessed value of farms, farming implements, and ma- 
chinery ; eight times the number of public schools. 

The curse of the South — that which is the cause of all 
this desolation, neglected agriculture and unused privi- 
leges, this ruined soil, this- want of manufactures and ship- 
ping, this ignorance, poverty, and utter wretchedness, is 
The decline of the a tyrannical minority of slaveholding dema= 
siavlholdlnldemt gogues. In proportion to the non-slavehold- 

ing population, they are truly a minority. 
In the fifteen Slave States there are only 346,000 slave- 
holders, and of them nearly 69,000 own but one slave ; 
and yet, such is the reign of terror they have produced, 
that there is absolutely no legislation except for slav- 
who operate on the er y- The poor white trash are deceived and 

outraged; thousands of them die without so 
much as a knowledge of the alphabet. They are too ig- 
norant to perceive their own power; too infatuated* to 
detect the cause of their own degradation. They lend 
themselves to the appointment, from the class that op- 
presses them, of constables, mayors, sheriffs, magistrates, 
judges, representatives, senators, governors. Their insan- 
ity has for forty-eight years imposed slaveholding Presi- 
dents on the nation. 

But it is not in the nature of things that this delusion 
should much longer continue ; not much longer will it be 
possible to exaggerate grossly the relative value of the 
cotton crop, nor hide the fact that slavery yields but one 
per cent, on its acknowledged investment. The industry 
of an unshackled population has given to the North an 


But the slave im- accumulation of nearly four thousand mil- 
muc^fong^con- 6 lions of dollars. In presence of such a spec- 
tacle, not much longer will the forests of the 
South be filled with the sighing of the slave and the 
clank of the negro-trader's coffle-chains as he goes on his 
way to the Gulf. As soon as the North awakes to its 
ideas, and awake one day it inevitably will, and uses its 
vast strength of money — the four thousand millions it 
has accumulated — its vast strength of numbers, and its 
still more gigantic strength of educated intellect, it will 
•tread this monster slavery under foot. From this impos- 
ture — worse than that of Korassan — the veil will be 
torn; its deluded worshipers will have from its black 
and hideous lips the sardonic taunt, " Ye would be dupes 
and victims, and ye are." 

It is an undeniable maxim that progressive improve- 
ment depends on industry, and industry on the compen- 
sation of labor. A stagnant condition is 
produces stagna- therefore the inevitable result in the South. 

tion. 9 ... 

Persistence of habit, arising from such a con- 
dition, turns men at last into moving shadows, and makes 
them incapable of feeling and thinking. There can be 
no* advancement in the Slave States, the slaves being in 
a stationary condition. Disturbance in any political sys- 
tem must ensue if there be an unequal progressive move- 
ment of the different parts. 

Doubtless it is true that the condition of society in the 
Free States is not such as optimists might desire — that 
the rich are too often vulgar, and the poor too often in- 
subordinate. There may be extravagance, but it is well 
to remember that " the order of advancement is riches, 
luxury, art." Women suddenly made rich may sweep 
the streets with trains of costly silk, and gratify their 
pride with all the harlequin fashions of French trum- 
pery, but their daughters will rise above that innocent 

Chap. XXIX.] 



mu . vulgarity. The stream of foreign immi- 

The inconvenience o «/ o 

^NorSfsexag- gration undoubtedly may have on the so- 
gerated. ^j con dition a depressing effect, but it 

must not be forgotten that however deleterious those 
influences may be, they are every year diminishing in 
force. A thousand immigrants intruding themselves on 
a feeble community may exert upon it a powerful ef- 
fect, but what would they be if mixed up with a nation 
of a hundred millions ? Moreover, in the nature of the 
thing, the evil is only temporary. The Irish immigrant 
recently landed may be ignorant, superstitious, turbulent, 
but how is it with his American-born son; still more, 
how is it with his grandsons ? There is no part of the 
North which does not present such men among its most 
virtuous and valuable citizens, foremost in defense of the 
rights of property, and in the support of education and 
works of charity. On their patriotism the republic may 
securely rest. 

Such are the advantages gained from educating the 
children of the " foreign vagrant." In the Slave States 
there are no schools for the colored peasantry — none even 
for the poor whites. It is unlawful to teach the negro ; 
if he reads the Bible at all, he must do it by stealth. 
Where for him is that family bond which is affirmed to 
be the basis of the system of the South ? His rights in 
that respect are altogether disowned. His marriage term- 
inates at the whim of his master; by a like arbitrary dic- 
tate his offspring are separated from him. 

In the North there is nothing answering to that fear- 
There is no terror- ful condition of things which President Bu- 
ism in its society, cnanan? { n hi s a nnual message, tells us is oc- 
curring in the South : " Many a matron retires at night in 
dread of what may befall herself and her children before 
the morning." "Pictorial hand-bills and inflammatory 
appeals" might be sent to every free laborer ; if he should 


spare time from his industry to look at them, they would 
only excite his merriment. Such things are never danger- 
ous unless they suggest some outrageous and wide- spread 

Of their family life, what is it that the free men of the 

Nor espionage m North ma y tml J say ?— We are not obliged 
its famines, ^ wn i S p er a t our dinner-tables lest our serv- 
ants should overhear. In our intercourse with one an- 
other there is no prohibited topic ; we talk about what 
we please. There is no skeleton in our closet at home. 
Our domestics may be capricious and insolent, but we do 
not fear that they are spies. A coarse independence may 
shine forth from their open countenances, but they have 
no lineament that vexes us with the betrayal of preco- 
cious filial vice, or, worse than that, tortures us with the 
undeniable, the living proof of conjugal infidelity. A 
Carolinian lady has told us of that dreadful state of mor- 
als at the South, in which the wife and the daughter 
sometimes find their home a heart-rending 

Who are spared the n n n .-, -. -i-it 

anguish of slave scene oi preference tor the degraded domes- 

plantation life. x ° 

tic, or the colored daughter of the head of 
the family. There are, she says, alas ! " too many fami- 
lies of which the contentions of Abraham's household are 
a fair example." Our wives and daughters are spared 
the anguish which their sisters whose lot has been cast 
in plantation life must endure. Slavery has inflicted its 
cruelties on the oppressed, but the justice of God has 
vindicated itself even in this world, and in the sorrow and 
shame of the family of the oppressor has offered a solemn 
monition of the inexorable award of that inevitable day 
in which whatever has been wrong shall be righted. 



The Slave Power, perceiving that it could no longer maintain itself under the forms 
of the Constitution against its antagonist, determined on Secession. For the 
purpose of obtaining the co-operation of all the Southern States it broke up the 
Democratic party, thereby insuring the election of the Republican candidate for 
the Presidency. 

Position of the four Presidential candidates on the Slave Question. Platform of 
the Republican party. Nomination of Abraham Lincoln, who was elected Presi- 
dent of the United States. 

The issue of the Kansas-Nebraska struggle had taught 

the South that it could not compete with 

icafpowerofthe 1 the North for the possession of the Territo- 

North. * 

ries. The North, having the boundless pop- 
ulation supplies of Europe to fall back upon, could put 
an emigrant into the disputed region at a cost far less 
than that at which the South could transfer a slaveholder 
or a slave. Moreover, the latter could only be done by 
depopulating the older states, whose political power di- 
minished with the loss of every negro. Mr. 

It was early recog- •-* -n .-,. , .-. -, . . „ 

mzed by Mr. cai- Calhoun, m his speech on the admission of 
Michigan (1836), distinctly showed the ad- 
vantages that the North was deriving from unrestricted 
immigrant population. He saw that the power of the 
Free States really lay in that. 

To one who examined the condition of things from the 
m that respect the general point of view, it was plain that the 
fn a a hopliSs^on 3 - struggle had become hopeless for the South. 
Her political power in the republic rested 
on an alliance with the Democratic party of the North ; 
but, though that party had pursued a course of concilia- 
tion, and even of subserviency, to its ally, there was a 


point beyond which it could not pass. If the Slave 
States were to remain associated on terms of equality 
with the Free, they must be furnished with population 
supplies. Immigration from Europe was incompatible 
with their system, and, indeed, implied a virtual aban- 
donment of it. So thoroughly was this felt, that subse- 
quently, in the Confederate Congress, stringent proposi- 
tions were offered against the naturalization of foreigners. 
There remained, therefore, but one resource, the African 
trade, and it was clear that the Democracy of the North 
could never consent to that. 

The Democratic party had long been controlled by 
_. . . ... very skillful chiefs ; but parties, to be clura- 

Hlogical position J ' -l ' 

DemocSc^arty ble, must carry out with logical fidelity the 
had fallen. principles on which they are founded. The 

equality of man and the dignity of labor were suitable 
partisan cries in the streets of New York, but not in the 
plantations of South Carolina. Political dexterity might 
for a season dissemble the discordance and hide it from 
view, but a time must come when that would cease to be 
possible ; and the antagonism between the necessities of 
the slave party and the principles of its Democratic ally 
would be irrepressible, and a quarrel between them inev- 
itable. There could be no sentiment of respect when 
among the more intelligent classes it was felt that the al- 
liance of the Democratic party with the South was found- 
ed on treachery to the principles of its own section ; nor 
could there be any hope of long-continued advantages 
to be derived from a combination which was necessarily 
ephemeral ; for when the dogmas of a party have sponta- 
neously become contradictory, the end of that party is at 
T .. ,. ,: Observant foreigners remarked that the 

In the estimation o 

becoSe^Vccom- Democracy of the North had become the 
pike of slavery. mere accomplice of slavery, and that its con- 


science was seared and hardened. The price it paid to 
slavery for the share of power it enjoyed was subservi- 

Pride, rather than policy, led the Slave States to con- 
T ,... , sent to the abandonment of the Missouri 

Impolitic action of 

pelSthiM^ou- Compromise. It suited their views of their 
n compromise. own ( jjg n ^y to stand on terms of apparent 

equality with their antagonist; but scarcely had they 
made a trial of the working of the new plan when they 
detected how fatal the result would be. In spite of all 
they could do, the free settlers of Kansas had carried the 
day. It was plain that the principle of popular sover- 
eignty — squatter sovereignty, as they contemptuously 
T+ • ., . . called it — the right of the actual settlers in 

It could not possi- o 

trfnrofpop^fa? 00 " a Territory to shape its political condition, 

sovereignty. an( j ma fc e ft f fee Qr gl ave as they chose, 

though very acceptable to the Irish voter in New En- 
gland, was very unsuitable to the master of a hundred 
African slaves. This letting the first immigrants settle 
the fate of a Territory was regarded as a conciliation to 
the Abolitionists — a bid for their vote. 

Accordingly, it .became apparent that popular or squat- 
ter sovereignty must be abolished in the Territories, even 
at the cost of a rupture with the Democracy of the North. 
If not openly abolished, its practical effect must be neu- 

To carry out this intention, Jefferson Davis — a name 

soon destined to celebrity — offered in the 

fiaveTy'Ilsffi'ions United States Senate (1860) a series of res- 
introduced by Jef- , , . -, -, -. m -, 

ferson Davis in the olutions, which were adopted, lney were 
to the effect that the states had adopted the 
Constitution as independent sovereigns, delegating to the 
general government a portion of their power for the sake 
of security ; that the intermeddling on the part of any one 
of them with the domestic institutions of another is not 


only insulting, but dangerous to domestic peace, and tend- 
ing to destroy the Union ; that negro slavery is a legal 
and important element in the apportionment of power 
among the states, and that no attack upon it can be justi- 
fied ; that the Senate, which represents the states in their 
sovereign capacity, ought to resist all attempts to give ad- 
vantages to the citizens of one state which are not enjoy- 
ed by those of another in the settlement of the Territo- 
ries ; that neither Congress nor the Territorial Legisla- 
tures have the right to prevent the introduction of slaves 
into the Territories, but, on the contrary, it is their duty 
to protect the holding and enjoying of that property ; 
that when a Territory is ready to be formed into a state, 
the citizens establishing its Constitution may then for the 
first time determine whether it shall be slave or free; 
that the Fugitive Slave Laws shall be faithfully carried 
into effect by all who enjoy the benefits of the Union, 
and that all acts tending to defeat or nullify them are 
subversive of the Constitution and revolutionary in their 

In the spring of 1860 the two great, national parties, 
the Democratic and Republican, prepared to declare their 
policy in the coming election, and to nominate their can- 
didates for the Presidency. 

The Convention of the Democratic party accordingly 
met at Charleston (April 23d). Scarcely 

Convention of the , ■, .. -. .. . -to •, 

Democratic party had it opened its session before it was ap- 

at Charleston. | . . -, 

parent that there was a conspiracy m the 
Slave States for the destruction of the party and for se- 
cession from the Union. Persons, such as Mr. Yancey, of 
Alabama, who had been open advocates for secession, 
were found to be the ruling spirits. They had determ- 
ined to insist on impossible guarantees for the existence 
of slavery, and to put it into the position of a permanent 


The secessionists national institution^ Their intention was 
b?elk m up e tnat to prevent the nomination of Mr. Douglas, 
and to compel the party to assume an ac- 
tive pro -slavery policy, or, failing that, to destroy the 
party by dexterously taking advantage of its delicate and 
critical condition, and forcing its Northern and Southern 
ideas into conflict. 

A Committee on Resolutions having been appointed, 

the Convention received from it three re- 
Three reports are , _. . A . . . i • n 

introduced into the ports. 1st. A maionty report, which, among 

Convention. * . d J r 1 7 O 

other things, asserted that Congress had no 
power to abolish slavery in the Territories ; that a Terri- 
torial Legislature has no power to abolish slavery in its 
Territory, nor to prohibit the introduction of slaves there- 
in, nor any power to destroy or impair the right of prop- 
erty in slaves by any legislation whatever. This report, 
therefore, represented the views of the pro-slavery party. 

2d. A minority report, affirming the doctrine of popu- 
lar sovereignty as adopted by the Democratic Conven- 
tion of 1856 on the occasion of the nomination of Mr. 
Buchanan, the present President, but adding thereto a dec- 
laration to abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court 
of the United States on questions of constitutional law, 
and that the enactments of state Legislatures to defeat 
the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law are hos- 
tile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and rev- 
olutionary in their effect. To these were added certain 
matters of less pressing interest, such as a recommenda- 
tion to construct the Pacific Railroad and acquire the isl- 
and of Cuba. 

3d. A resolution, proposed by Mr. B. F. Butler, of Mas- 
sachusetts, that the doctrine of popular sovereignty, as 
adopted by the Democratic Convention of 1856, be reas- 
serted without change or addition. 

Mr. Avery, of North Carolina, on introducing the first, 
L— 1 1 


or majority report, to the Convention, stated that it was 

the common sentiment of the South that the doctrine of 

popular sovereignty was as dangerous as the 

Protest against . . -. a r^ • i • . 

popular sover- principle oi Congressional intervention or 
prohibition; that it was utterly impossible 
for the South to contend with the North for the posses- 
sion of the Territories on that principle; for, while the lat- 
ter could send a voter into the disputed region for $200, 
it would cost the former more than $1500. And as to 
the proposition of the minority to leave the matter to the 
decision of the Supreme Court in contested cases, that 
really amounted to nothing, for it was what every law- 
abiding citizen was already prepared to do. 

On taking the vote, Mr. Butler's resolution was reject- 
ed. The minority report, as finally presented to the Con- 
vention, was adopted. 

Hereupon the delegation from Alabama, as had been 
previously arranged among the advocates of 

That doctrine is . i i i .i . ' •! •, 

adopted, and the secession, declared that tnev were mstruet- 

Alabama delega- . -i • 

ve°ntion ve tbe Con " e( * ®Y their state not to submit to the pop- 
ular sovereignty or sq»uatter doctrine, and 
that, should it be adopted, as had now been the case, they 
must withdraw from the Convention. Accordingly they 
did so, and were followed by the delegates from other 
Slave States. The Democratic party was 

The issue is the di- , , . , -. , n , 

vision oftheDem- thus split asunder, and the nrst actual move- 
ment in secession accomplished; in the height 
of the tumultuous scene, some of the retiring members 
exclaiming that in sixty days the whole South would be 
with them. These asseverations of the unanimity of the 
South accomplished their own verification. Whoever had 
still an attachment to the Union was compelled to be 
mute. The leaders of the movement twirled round the 
spark of secession so vigorously that every one believed 
it was a complete circle of fire. 



party shall agree 
to the reopenin 
of the slave-trai 

One member of the Georgia delegation protested 
against the action of his colleagues. " I am 

A delegate from ° . ° 

toe 5femocfatic hat n °t in * avor of breaking up this government 
£5 upon an impracticable issue, upon a mere 
a e ' theory. I believe that this doctrine of pro- 
tection to slavery in the Territories is a mere theory, a 
mere abstraction. Practically it can be of no conse- 
quence to the South, for the reason that the infant has 
been strangled before it was born. You have cut off the 
supply of slaves, you have crippled the institution in the 
states by your unjust laws, and it is mere folly and mad- 
ness now to ask protection for a nonentity, 

On the ground that n n • i • i • j j_i TT7" 7 

it is absolutely nee- for a thing which is not there. We have 

essary to the terri- 7 7 /rr : • ' • ttt 

toriai expansion of no slaves to carry to t/wse lemtories. We 

the South, *J 

can never make another slave state with 
our present supply of slaves. And if we could, it would 
not be wise, for the reason that if you make another 
slave state from your new Territories with the present 
supply of slaves, you will be obliged to give up another 
state — either Maryland, Delaware, or Virginia — to free 
soil upon the North. Now I would deal with this ques- 
tion, fellow -Democrats, as a practical one. When I can 
see no possible practical good to result to the country 
from demanding legislation upon this theory, I am not 
prepared to disintegrate and dismember the great Demo- 
cratic party of this Union. I would ask my friends of 
the South to come up in a proper spirit; ask our North- 
ern friends to give us all our rights, and take off the 
ruthless restrictions which cut off the supply of slaves 
from foreign lands. As a matter of right and justice to 
the South, I would ask the Democracy of the North to 
grant us this thing, and I believe they have the patriot- 
ism and honesty to do it, because it is right in itself. I 
tell you, fellow -Democrats, that the African slave-trader 
is the true Union man ; I tell you that the slave-trader 



of Virginia is more immoral, more unchristian in every 

possible point of view, than that African slave - trader 

who goes to Africa and brings a heathen and worthless 

man here, making him a useful man, chris- 

And gives to Af- ... -,. -, -,. ,. -i -i • 

rka tie blessings tianizmg; mm, and sending; him and his pos- 

of Christianity. • i i ? • i 

tenty down the stream of time to enjoy the 
blessings of civilization. Now, fellow -Democrats, so far 
as any public expression of the State of Virginia — the 
great slave -trading State of Virginia — has been given, 
they are all opposed to the African slave-trade. We are 
told, upon high authority, that there is a certain class* of 
men who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Vir- 
ginia, which authorizes the buying of Christian men, sep- 
arating them from their wives and children, from all the 
relations and associations amid which they have lived 
for years, rolls up her eyes in holy horror when I would 
go to Africa, buy a savage, and introduce him to the 
blessings of civilization and Christianity. The slave- 
trade in Virginia forms a mighty and powerful reason 
for its opposition to the African slave-trade, and in this 
remark I do not intend any disrespect to my friends from 
Virginia. Virginia, the mother of states and of states- 
men, the mother of Presidents, I apprehend may err as 

well as other mortals. I am afraid that her 

That Virginia, from • .1 • -, <-•• » ,i , • 

motives of interest, error in this regard lies in the promptings 
of the almighty dollar. It has been mj T for- . 
tune to go into that noble old state to buy a few darkies, 
and I have had to pay from $1000 to $2000 a head, when 
I could go to Africa and buy better negroes at $50 a 
piece. Unquestionably it is to the interest of Virginia 
to break down the African slave-trade when she can sell 
her negroes at $2000. She knows that the African slave- 
trade would break up her monopoly, and hence her ob- 
jection to it. If any of you Northern Democrats — for I 
have more faith in you than I have in the carpet-knight 


Democracy of the South — will go home with me to my 
plantation in Georgia, but a little way from here, I will 
show you some darkies that I bought in Maryland, some 
that I bought in Virginia, some in Delaware, some in 
Florida, some in North Carolina, and I will also show 
you the pure African, the noblest Roman of them all. 
(Great laughter.) Now, fellow - Democrats, my feeble 
health and failing voice admonish me to bring the few 
remarks I have to make to a close. I am only sorry that 
I am not in a better condition than I am to vindicate be- 
fore you to-day the words of truth, of honesty, and of 
right, and to show you the gross inconsistencies of the 
South in this regard. I come from the First Congres- 
sional District of the State of Georgia. I represent the 
African slave-trade interest of that section. (Applause.) 
That the African ■"■ am P rou ^- of the position I occupy in that 
trurch a r?s e tiin the respect. I believe that the African slave- 
missionary. trader is a true missionary and a true Chris- 
tian (applause), and I have pleaded with my delegation 
from Georgia to put this issue squarely to the Northern 
Democracy, and say to them, Are you prepared to go 
back to first principles, and take off your unconstitutional 
restrictions, and leave this question to be settled by each 
state? Now do this, fellow -citizens, and you will have 
peace in the country. But, so long as your 

That its tendency „ -, 1T . 1 , . -. . .,... £ , , . 

is to sustain the leaeral Legislature takes lunsdiction of this 

Union, . ° *i 

question, so long there will be war, so long 
there will be ill blood, so long there will be strife, until 
this glorious Union of ours shall be disrupted, and go 
out in blood and night forever. I advocate the repeal of 
the laws prohibiting the African slave-trade because I 

believe it to be the true Union movement. 

And that the trade t J .l"UV j.1 a. j_« t • . 

is essentially neces- 1 do not believe that sections whose interests 

sary to the balance t/y» 1 i r>< •* -r 

of power in the re- are so ainerent as the Southern and North- 


ern States can ever stand the shocks of fa- 


naticism unless they be equally balanced. I believe that 
by reopening this trade, and giving us negroes to popu- 
late the Territories, the equilibrium of the two sections 
will be maintained." 

That portion of the Convention which remained at- 
tempted now to vote for a candidate for the 

The Convention -r» • i l ±. I* J* t*j_ ±1 ni*^ 

adjoum to Baiti- Presidency ; but nnamg, after more than nixy 
ballots, that the necessary number for nom- 
ination could not be obtained, adjourned to meet at Bal- 
timore the following June. 

The seceding party, on their side, met in St. Andrew's 
Hall and organized themselves. They adopted the ma- 
And.theseceders 3°*% report, but made no nomination for 
to Richmond, President. Their intention was so to para- 
lyze the Democratic party as to insure the election of the 
Republican candidate, and thereby unite and arouse the 
South. They adjourned to meet in June at Richmond. 

At the time appointed the meeting at Baltimore took 
At the Baltimore pl ace - A withdrawal of part of the delega- 
Sonlga& takes tions again occurred. This was followed by 
place ' the retirement of the presiding officer of the 

Convention itself, and a majority of the Massachusetts 
delegation. Mr. B. F. Butler, speaking in behalf of the 
latter, said : " We put our withdrawal upon 

And General Ben- . - 

So^t^ground the simple ground, among others, that there 
Sfp^rovingiya^- 6 has been a withdrawal in part of a majority 
of the states ; and, further (and that, per- 
haps, more personal to myself), upon the ground that I 
will not sit in a Convention where the African slave- 
trade — which is piracy by the laws of my country — is ap- 
provingly advocated." 

Nevertheless the balloting proceeded, and eventually 
The Democratic ^ r * Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, was nom- 
Sate^rDougTi- inated as the Democratic candidate for Presi- 
for president. dent? and Mr Ben j am i n Fitzpatrick for Vice- 



stitutional Union 

Sarty nominates 
[r. Bell. 

President ; but he declining, the nomination was given to 
Mr. Herschel V. Johnson, of Georgia. 

The members who had recently seceded, inviting the 
seceders at Richmond to join them, now nom 

The seceders nomi- . ,-i-n/r tt r\ Tt ■ i • • l n Tr 

nateMr.Breckin- mated Mr. J oJm (J. .Breckinridge, of Ken 

ridge. , 

tucky, for President, and Mr. Joseph Lane 
of Oregon, for Vice-President. 

The two divisions of the Democratic party, thus skill 
fully split asunder, were therefore represented by Mr 
Douglas and Mr. Breckinridge respectively. 

An organization, calling itself the National Constitu 
The National con- ^ional Union party, met likewise at Baltimore 
It declared its principles to be the Consti 
tution of the country, the union of the states 
and the enforcement of the laws. It nominated Mr. John 
Bell, of Tennessee, as President, and Mr. Edward Everett 
of Massachusetts, as Vice-President. 

The Republican National Convention met at Chicago 
Illinois. Its organization being completed 

The Kepublican . -, , n i • i 

convention meets a committee reported a platlorm, which was 

at Chicago. . * . x ' 

unanimously adopted. 
This report set forth the propriety of the organization 
platform of the Be- of the Republican party; the necessity of 
publican party. maintaining the principle promulgated in the 
Declaration of Independence of the equality of men. It 
declared that the federal Constitution, the rights of the 
states, and their union, must be preserved ; that to the 
union of the states the nation owes its prosperity ; that 
the Republican party holds in abhorrence all schemes for 
disunion. It asserted the right of each state to order and 
control its own domestic institutions, and denounced the 
lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any state 
or Territory as among the gravest of crimes. It held up 
to reprobation the existing Democratic administration 
for its measureless subserviency to slavery; for its at- 


tempt to force upon the protesting people of Kansas the 
Lecompton Constitution ; for construing the personal re- 
lation between master and servant to involve an unqual- 
ified property in persons. It denounced the reckless 
financial extravagance of the government. It affirmed 
that the new dogma, that the Constitution of its own 
force carries slavery into the Territories, is a dangerous 
political heresy ; that the normal condition of all the ter- 
ritory is that of freedom. It denied the authority of 
Congress, of a Territorial Legislature, or of any individu- 
als, to give legal existenee to slavery in any Territory of 
the United States. It branded the recent reopening of 
the African slave-trade, under the cover of the national 
flag, aided by perversions of judicial power, as a crime 
against humanity, and a burning shame to the country 
and age. It called upon Congress to take prompt and 
efficient measures for the total and final suppression of 
that execrable traffic. It pointed out the deception and 
fraud of the Democratic principle of non-intervention and 
popular sovereignty, as illustrated by the recent vetoes, 
by their federal governors, of the acts of the Legislatures 
of Kansas and Nebraska prohibiting slavery. It re- 
quired that Kansas should forthwith be admitted as a 
state. It affirmed that, while providing revenue for the 
support of the government by duties upon imports, sound 
policy required such an adjustment of those imposts as 
to encourage the development of home industry. It de- 
manded the passage of the Homestead law. It protested 
against any change in the naturalization laws, by which 
the rights of immigrants might be impaired. It called 
for appropriations for river and harbor improvements, 
and for the construction of a railroad to the Pacific. 

The Convention then proceeded to ballot, and even- 
it nominates Mr. tual ty Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, received 
Lincoln. j.^ nomuia tion as President, and Hannibal 

Hamlin, of Maine, as Vice-President. 


In the election that ensued in November, every thing 
turned upon the Slavery Question. Mr. Lin- 

The position of the , n r -, . -. . -■ . A -. . . . -. 

four candidates on com denied the right 01 slavery to intrude 

the Slave Question. . ~ d 

itself into the Territories ; and declared that, 
if it did, Congress had the power, and it was its duty to 
prohibit it. Mr. Douglas affirmed that in the exercise of 
their prerogative of popular sovereignty, the people of 
a Territory might establish or exclude it. Mr. Breckin- 
ridge, that the slaveholder had a right to carry his slaves 
into a Territory, and that it is the duty of Congress to 
protect him in so doing, even though the Territorial Leg- 
islature should have prohibited slavery. Mr. Bell simply 
proclaimed the national Constitution as a sufficient guide. 

The Republican party, under its leader, Mr. Lincoln, 
presented an unbroken front. Its principles were unmis- 
takably and clearly defined; though intensely anti-slav- 
ery, its platform contained no threat against slavery. 

The Democratic party, under Mr. Douglas and Mr. 
Breckinridge, was divided. Its ultra-slavery section up- 
held the latter, its moderate section the former. The 
root of the whole trouble, in Mr. Buchanan's opinion, was 
in the refusal of the Douglasites to recognize the consti- 
tutional rights of slavery in the Territories, established 
by the Supreme Court; the South regarded that as a 
degradation. More truly, however, this division was the 
necessary, the inevitable issue of the illogical and self- 
contradictory position the party occupied — of its attempt 
simultaneously to assert the equal rights of man in the 
North, and social caste divisions in the South. 

The presidential ^n November 6th, 1860, the election took 
election of i860. pl ace . the votes were, 

40,022 ) m . 
Slave « . . 2M30 [Total, 1,866,452. 

Mr. Lincoln, in the Free States . . 1,840,022 

" " Slave " . . 26,430 

Mr. Douglas, in the Free States . . 1,211,632 

i Free States . . 1,211,632 ) 

Slave " . . 163,525 j 1,375,157. 

506 LINCOLN. [Sect. VI. 

Mr. Breckinridge, in the Free States 277,082 ) m 

« Slave « 570,871 [ Total, 847,953. 

Mr. Bell, in the Free States . . . 74,658 ) 

" Slave " ... 515,973 [ 590,631. 

Such was the state of the popular vote. The position 
of the candidates, the electoral vote being considered, 

Mr. Lincoln 180 

Mr. Breckinridge 72 

Mr. Bell 39 

Mr. Douglas 12 


When the electoral college met in the en- 
dent of the united suing; month, Mr. Lincoln was therefore cho- 

States. . 

sen President of the United States. 

Abeaham Lincoln was born of poor and illiterate par- 
Biography of Abra- ents > in Hardin County, Kentucky. His fa- 
ham Lincoln. ^ er QQvldL neither read nor write. When 
the future President was only eight years old the family 
removed to Indiana, floating down the Ohio on a raft. 
They built their humble log cabin in Spencer County. 

At the age of nineteen, having acquired the rudiments 
of a scanty education — reading, writing, ciphering — he 
hired himself as a flat-boatman on the Mississippi, receiv- 
ing as wages ten dollars a month. His father removing 
to Illinois two years subsequently, he drove the cattle on 
the journey, and then split rails to fence in the new farm. 
Soon afterward he commenced shop-keeping in a small 
way, and added to his acquirements the art of land sur- 
veying. At twenty-five he was elected a member of the 
Legislature of Illinois. He had now begun studying law, 
and in due time was admitted to the bar. Subsequently 
he was sent to the national Congress, in which he uni- 
formly and consistently vindicated the rights of freedom 
against slavery. 

Through years of unparalleled political difficulty — 

Chap. XXX.] LINCOLN. 597 

through the horrors of an awful civil war, this man was 
the Chief of the Republic. He was found to be of spot- 
less integrity, and equal to his task. He emancipated 
four millions of human beings from slavery, and gave to 
his country peace. 



South Carolina assumed the position of leadership in the Secession movement. 
She did not wait for co-operation, but passed an Ordinance of Secession, and or- 
ganized herself as an independent or sovereign Power. 

The Message of President Buchanan to Congress was received with general dissat- 
isfaction. He was of opinion that the government has no authority to prevent 

All attempts at compromise failed, and the Southern members withdrew from Con- 

The white population of South Carolina in 1860 was 
The population of about tliree hundred thousand (301,271). 

South Carolina. The t()tal ^j^ p p U l at i on Q f ^ g] aye 

States was about eight millions and a quarter (8,289,953). 
Considered with respect to her population, South Caro- 
lina was, with the exception of Delaware, the smallest of 
the Slave States. 

In the North, where numerical majorities determine 
public policy, South Carolina was regarded with a senti- 
ment of disdain. There were single towns of which the 
population outnumbered hers. It seemed preposterous 
that she should undertake to control the action of her 
confederates, whose aggregate numbers exceeded hers al- 
most thirty fold. 

But, however numerical estimates might be applied in 

cause of her P oiit- * ne North, they were altogether out of place 
icai influence. j n ^-g i ns tance. The political power of 

South Carolina lay not in her numbers, but in her intelli- 

Her black population exceeded her white; in that 
respect she stood at the head of the Southern States. 
This preponderance of slaves implied wealthy slaveown- 


social sentiment in f rs - Aristocratic ideas prevailed among her 
that state. influential planters, due partly to a recollec- 

tion of the distinguished circumstances under which, as a 
colony, the state had been originally settled, and partly 
to the elegant luxury and refinement in which they lived. 
The brusque individualism of the recent rich man of the 
North was here replaced by the lofty dignity of family 
pride. Familiar, through repeated visits to the capitals 
of Europe, with all the amenities of modern civilized life, 
and surrounding himself with whatever can minister to 
the gratification of a refined taste, the South Carolinian 
repaid that sentiment of disdain with which his state was 
regarded at the North with a sentiment of contempt. 
Especially since the days of Nullification, in which he 
persuaded himself that he had brought Congress to terms, 
had he indulged in an imperious temper. A new gener- 
ation had arisen, educated to hate the Union. 

No one saw more clearly the true position of South 

Carolina than Mr. Calhoun. In his speech 

vieWs on the basis on the Force Bill, 1833 (Cralle, ii., p. 199), 

of her distinction. 7 v •i-ii-i 

he says : " We have been sneenngly told that 
she is a small state ; that her population does not exceed 
half a million of souls, and that more than one half are 
not of the European race. The facts are so. I know she 
can never be a great state, and the only distinction to 
which she can aspire must be based on the moral and in- 
tellectual acquisitions of her sons." 

Massachusetts was the brain of the Free States ; South 
- l . Carolina the brain of the Slave States. In 

Relative position 

anfsou a th h caroii- ^ ne more recent and more highly-developed 
aSo^thcarS- 11 ^ life of the republic, the latter had come into 
the position held by Virginia in earlier times. 
These states, Virginia and South Carolina, occupied in 
the polity of the South a relative position not unlike that 
of England and France in the European system : South 


Carolina impulsive, impetuous, brilliant, in the van of 
new movements, conscious of her intellectual strength ; 
Virginia colder, more impassive, looking more to the con- 
sequences of events, reluctant to change. 

As is too often the case with those who thus are con- 
scious of intellectual strength, she overestimated her 
physical power, and hid from herself the fact that it is 
upon that alone that imperial dominion depends. The 
south caroima dis- v . oic ? of the ^significant minority— Co-opera- 
STc<S^?ltienof tionisfo as they were termed — who desired 

other states. ^ wft ^ ^jj ^j^ gtateg were j J ne( J ^^ 

her in a combined revolutionary movement, was lost in 
the loud demands of the instant Disunionists. 

The Legislature of South Carolina met November 5th, 

1860, for the purpose of appointing presidential electors. 

The governor, in his message to that body, 

Message of the . •-, . -. . ■ . . -, n -, .. 

governor to the suggested that it should remain m session 
for the purpose of taking such action as 
would prepare the state for any emergency that might 
arise. He explained the considerations that had led him 
to this step — " a view of the threatening aspect of affairs, 
and the strong probability of the election to the presi- 
dency of a sectional candidate by a party committed 
to the support of measures which would ultimately re- 
duce the Southern States to mere provinces of a consoli- 
dated despotism, to be governed by a fixed majority in 
Congress, hostile to their institutions, and fatally bent on 
their ruin." He recommended that, in the 

He recommends i (*~\t t • it i j • r^\ i • 

the calling of a event oi Mr. Lincoln s election, a Convention 

Convention. -i-iit 

of the people ot the state should be called, 
and expressed his opinion that the only alternative left 
was the secession of South Carolina from the federal Un- 
ion. The long-desired co-operation of the other states, 
having similar institutions, seemed to him to be near at 
hand. If, he continued, " in the exercise of arbitrary 


power, and forgetful of the lessons of history, the govern- 
ment of the United States should attempt coercion, it 
will become our solemn duty to meet force by force." 
He therefore recommended the reorganization of the mi- 
litia, and the acceptance of volunteers. 

Under these circumstances, the Legislature passed a 

bill calling a Convention to meet on Decem- 

noifty p to reiSin ber 17th. Not but that attempts were made 

hasty action. . , x 

to restrain this impetuosity by the Co-opera- 
tionists. One would put off decisive action until at least 
another state had given evidence that she would join in 
the movement ; another would send a commission to 
Georgia to secure her concurrence. Still another insist- 
ed that, as this had been the policy of the state for ten 
y£ars, it ought not to be suddenly abandoned. For more 
than that length of time it had been her settled determ- 
ination that she would secede; the only question had 
been as to time and method — when and how. "The 
Southern States are one in soil and climate, one in pro- 
ductions, having a monopoly of the cotton region ; one in 
institutions, and, more than all, one in their wrongs un- 
der the Constitution. Add to this that they alone have 
African slavery, which is absolutely necessary for them, 
without which they would cease to exist, and against 
which, under the influence of a fanatical sentiment, the 
world is banded. In this respect we are isolated from 
the whole world, and it would seem that the very weight 
of that outside pressure would compel us to unite."" 
" South Carolina has sometimes been accused of a para- 
mount desire to lead or to disturb the councils of the 
South. Let us make one last effort for co-operation, and 
in so doing repel that false and unfounded imputation." 

To this it was replied that South Carolina had tried 
co-operation, and had exhausted that policy. Virginia 
had declined to take the leadership. If we wait for co- 



operation, slavery and state-rights will be 

But the majority is -. -. ■* -m-. -, -i i i 

determined to se- abandoned. When we have pledged our- 
selves to take the state out of the Union, it 
will be time enough to send a commission to Georgia, or 
any other Southern state, and submit the question wheth- 
er they will join or not. We have it from high authority 
inducements to ^ na ^ ^ ne re P resen tative of one of the imperial 
paitofTordgn 6 powers of Europe, in view of this prospect- 
powers. j ye ge p ara ^ on f rom the Union, has made 

propositions in advance for the establishment of such re- 
lations between it and the government about to be estab- 
lished in this state as will insure to that power such a 
supply of cotton for the future as an increasing demand 
for that article will require." 

In fact, South Carolina was not acting precipitately, 
nor was it necessary for her to have the demanded delay 
for co-operation. Co-operation had been long ago secured. 
Not only had the leaders of the secession movement come 
to a previous understanding with each other, but, as the 
foregoing extract shows, they had tampered with foreign 
powers. It had been settled that the initiative should 
be taken by South Carolina, and that the other Slave 
States would sustain her. 

As a matter of policy, it was better that South Caro- 
lina should thus take the initiative. The 

Reasons that South . -, -> . . , -, , 

Carolina should government could not get at her except 

take the initiative. ° i -i -r» i n l i 

through the .Border States, who, apparently 
acting on the defensive, might resist the passage of troops. 
No matter what might be their desire, if once the Cotton 
States seceded, they would be compelled to follow the ex- 
ample. They would be too weak to remain in the Union. 
It was the general impression at this time in the South 
it was e ected ^ na ^ secess i° n could be accomplished with 
cOTid^SonSim- impunity. The Northern newspapers, in 
matedwithoutwar. toQ many i nstanceg? were continually goad- 


ing the discontented communities to that fatal step. The 
President did not believe that coercion could be legally 
resorted to. Congress was indisposed to act. Influential 
politicians of the Democratic party in the North were 
profuse in their proffers of support. They had no clear 
appreciation of what the consequences would be, for they 
looked upon the whole thing as a mere electioneering 
movement. Even Lieutenant General Scott, the general- 
in-chief of the American army, had not yet risen to a 
correct estimate of the policy that must be adopted, and 
in his "Views" contemplated without indignation the 
possibility of dividing the republic into four separate 

At the time of Mr. Lincoln's election a system of ter- 
rorism had been thoroughly established in 

A system of terror- . 1 . -, r ^ . . . . 

ism was established the feoutu. utoss misrepresentations were 

through the South. \ , ■ , 

spread abroad in every direction, and that 
not only by the politicians and newspapers, but also by 
the pulpit. By these means the poor whites were roused 
to a pitch of madness, and were lured by the beguilement 
of secession, that the African trade would be forthwith 
re-established, and every one could have as many slaves 
as he pleased. One of them, writing subsequently, says : 
" Never were a people more bewitched, beguiled, and be- 
fooled than we were when we drifted into secession." 
Very soon such a public opinion was created that it be- 
compuisoryuna- came impossible to resist. Whoever in his 
nimity obtained, h ear k entertained Union sentiments must 

hold his peace ; if he remonstrated, it was at the peril of 
his life. Never, except in the darkest moment of the 
French Revolution, had such a state of things been wit- 
nessed. Meetings were held among the chief secession- 
ists ; at one which had taken place at the house of Mr. 
Hammond (October 25th, 1860), it is said that the de- 
tails of the movement ' were agreed upon. Telegraphic 
I.— K K 


dispatches were flying in all directions, and Mr. Yancey's 
wish was at last gratified — the Southern heart was fired. 
On December 17th, 1860, the South Carolina Conven- 
tion met at Columbia, in that state. On ac- 

Meeting of the . /» ,-i -, n -,-, . . -, 

south Carolina count ot the prevalence of small-pox it ad- 

Convention. . 1 * * 

journed to Charleston. Immediately upon 
its organization, on motion of Mr. Inglis, it was " Re- 
solved, that it is the opinion of this Convention that the 
State of South Carolina should forthwith secede from the 
Federal Union known as the United States of America." 

In pressing his resolution to a decision, Mr. Inglis re- 
marked that delay for the purpose of discussion was 
scarcely needed, since the matter had been under discus- 
sion for many years. Mr. Parker said it had been cul- 
minating for thirty years ; Mr. Keitt, that he had been 
engaged in this movement ever since he entered on po- 
litical life ; Mr. Rhett, that the secession of South Caro- 
lina was not the affair of a day — it was neither produced 
by Mr. Lincoln's election, nor by the non-execution of the 
Fugitive Slave Law — it had been gathering head for 
thirty years. 

The following ordinance was unanimously passed : 

" An ordinance to dissolve the union between the 
ordinance of se- State of South Carolina and other states 
cession passed. un ited with her, under the compact entitled 
' the Constitution of the United States of America.' " 

" We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in 
Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is 
hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopt- 
ed by us in Convention on the 23d day of May, in the 
year of our Lord 1788, whereby the Constitution of the 
United States of America was ratified, and also all acts 
and parts of acts of the General Assembly of thi& state, 
ratifying the amendments of the said Constitution, are 
hereby repealed, and that the union now subsisting be- 


tween South Carolina and other states, under the name 
of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved." 
The fatal step thus taken was welcomed in the streets 
by the firing of cannon, the ringing of bells, 

Enthusiastic de- -, . t -i . . . fl . ,, m-. 

light of the caro and every other demonstration oiioy. " lne 

linians. r 1 /» « 

state had now become a free and independ- 
ent nation." In their intoxication of enthusiasm, the up- 
per classes forgot that in great political convulsions it is 
always the aristocracy who suffer most. The unthink- 
ing multitude did not pause to reflect on the awful re- 
sponsibility of their act, and that they must make good 
their ordinance against a great power which could en- 
force its behests with armies of a million of men. 

A procession of gentlemen repaired to St. Philip's 
Church-yard, and, encircling the tomb of Calhoun, made 
solemn obeisance before it, vowing to devote " their lives, 
their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to Carolinian in- 
dependence. The side -walks were crowded with ladies 
wearing secession bonnets made of black and white Geor- 
gia cotton, decorated with ornaments of Palmetto -trees 
and lone stars. In the frenzy of enthusiastic patriotism 
they surpassed the men. They had put forth their hand 
and gathered the long-forbidden fruit, but it was like the 
fabled apple of Isthakar, of which he who tasted must 
eat the whole, and, though it was sweet as honey on one 
side, it was more bitter than the quintessence of gall on 
. the other. At the ceremony of signing the 

Ceremony of sign- ■ -, . i 1 i , i 

ing the ordinance ordinance — a ceremony declared to be pro- 

of Secession 

foundry grand and impressive — a venerable 
clergyman, whose hair was as white as snow, implored 
the favoring auspices of heaven. It was affirmed that 
the work of thirty years was accomplished at last. Not 
yet. In less than three years after these events, the 
terror - stricken city, blackened with fire and in ruins, 
received an answer of doom to her prayers from the 


mouth of the Swamp Angel, in the batteries on Morris 

The state having thus " resumed her position among 
the nations of the earth," her governor, Mr. 

Organization of the -j^. -, . -, . -. . . -, 

state as a sovereign rickens, was authorized to receive embassa- 

power. . . 

dors, ministers, consuls, etc., from abroad, and 
to appoint similar officers to represent her in foreign 
countries. As is the custom with sovereign personages, 
he organized a cabinet, Mr. Magrath being the Secre- 
tary of State, Mr. Jamison Secretary of War, Mr. Mem- 
minger Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Hardee Postmaster 
General, Mr. Garlington Secretary of the Interior. The 
chains of the old Union could not, however, be abruptly 
and entirely snapped ; the gold and silver coinage still re- 
mained a legal tender, and, through the force of necessity, 
the agents of the post-office and of other services were 
retained. It was needful to do this in order for " the 
machinery to move on." With provident care for the 
future — though, seen by us in the retrospect, it extorts a 
melancholy smile — a loan of four hundred thousand dol- 
lars for the public defense was authorized ; it 

Financial prepara- ^ * > 

to theAmeSaT 7 was immediately taken by the banks of the 
government. state, and they were permitted to suspend 
specie payments. Commissioners were appointed to pro- 
ceed to Washington to arrange for the surrender of the